Workers at Irving Shipyard vote 99.8% to strike

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Unifor MWF Local 1 members have given their bargaining committee a 99.8% strike mandate as they seek a fair collective agreement with Irving Shipbuilding.

“With that level of solidarity, Irving should remember that our collective agreement was used to win the shipbuilding contract, and they can’t now come to the table looking for concessions, they need to come to the table with solutions,”said Jerry Dias, National President.

More than 700 of the 800 members in the local packed a Halifax hall to hear an update from the bargaining committee on Sunday, December 3. The committee reported on the heavy handed tactics of the employer including the 33 pages of concessions proposed by Irving Shipbuilding.

The employer’s bargaining proposals seeks to remove a ten minute break, safety provisions and delete of all classification seniority provisions from the collective agreement. In addition to issuing an attack on the collective agreement, after less than four days in negotiations last month Irving Shipbuilding requested conciliation to mediate a resolution.

In a message to members, the committee said it was concerned by the employer’s misleading statements in media interviews, news releases and a note to employees.

The collective agreement expires on December 31, 2017.