Irving shipyard workers give 48-hour strike notice after rejecting deal

Unifor Marine Workers Federation Local 1 voted 75 per cent in favour of rejecting the tentative agreement after eight months of negotiations.

'Obviously our members have been frustrated,' says union spokesperson

Unifor Marine Workers Federation Local 1 voted to reject a tentative agreement with Irving Shipbuilding on Wednesday. (Submitted by Irving Shipbuilding Inc.)
Halifax Shipyard workers have voted to reject a tentative agreement with Irving Shipbuilding and served a 48-hour strike notice.

Unifor Marine Workers Federation Local 1 voted on Wednesday, with 75 per cent rejecting the proposed agreement after eight months of negotiations.

"Obviously our members have been frustrated, and we have seen unacceptable levels of workers being disciplined needlessly, and what was on the table in the tentative settlement did not go far enough to address the members' issues in the workplace," said Adam Hersey, business agent for the Unifor local, in a news release.

Unifor MWF 1 represents more than 800 shipyard workers. They are currently constructing Arctic and offshore patrol vessels.

The previous collective agreement expired at the end of 2017.

According to the release, the four-year tentative agreement included increases of 1.5 per cent per year for the next four years, but did not include any sick days for workers. The release states this is "despite the fact that managers at Irving Shipbuilding are entitled to paid sick leave."

A spokesperson for Irving Shipbuilding said the company wouldn't have a comment until Thursday.

Picket lines could go up outside of the shipyard as early as Saturday at 9 a.m. if the two sides can't reach an agreement.

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