Nova Scotia

Halifax airport screeners agree to contract

The union that represents security screeners at Halifax Stanfield International Airport has ratified a collective one-year agreement.

The union that represents security screeners at Halifax Stanfield International Airport has ratified a collective one-year agreement with Shannahan's Investigations and Security Ltd., the union announced Wednesday.

The agreement gives workers a three per cent wage increase retroactive from April 1, improved pensions and employees with 15 years of service will receive an extra week of vacation.

The 250 members of United Steel Workers Local 5319 reached a tentative deal on May 15.

Their last contract expired in March.

The workers were unhappy that the company wanted employees to work split shifts, in addition to concerns about pensions, stress pay and vacations, according to union president Mark Arsenault.

"With anticipated changes over the next few months to the way airport security is going to be delivered, this agreement is important in providing workplace stability for our members, at least for a while," USW Atlantic Coordinator Lawrence McKay said Wednesday in a news release.

The union had a 97 per cent strike vote and was set to strike in July if it couldn't come to an agreement with Shannahan's.

Similar talks have been ongoing at Ottawa International Airport. Local union members and Aeroguard Eastern Ltd. will meet with a conciliator on Friday.

The Ottawa workers also voted 97 per cent in favour of a strike if a deal couldn't be reached.

Talks there have been underway for three months, with outstanding issues including wages, benefits and pensions.

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