New Agreements at Halifax and Marystown Shipyards

August 5, 2009, 11:28 AM EST

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CAW/Marine Workers Federation members at the Halifax and Marystown shipyards have ratified two new agreements that provide wage increases and other gains.

CAW/MWF Local 1 members at the Halifax shipyard ratified on July 7 a two-year extension of their agreement by 72 per cent. The extension, which expires December 31, 2011, provides a five per cent wage increase in each year.

The new agreement will cover the duration of the work to be completed on the HMCS Preserver and the HMCS Iroquois. There are currently 300 working at the yard with 200 more to be hired in September. In March 2010 there will be 200 more hired.

CAW/MWF Local 1 President Karl Risser said the new agreement is good news for workers and the Halifax area economy. "We have suffered through some tough economic times, but this agreement means continued work for our members and additional workers hired back to the shipyard in coming years," Risser said.

At the Marystown Shipyard in Newfoundland, CAW/MWF Local 20 members ratified a three-year agreement by 81 per cent. The agreement provides a wage increase of three per cent in each year, a shift premium increase of 30 cents per hour over the three years and overall improvements to contract language.

At Marystown work will start shortly on two provincial ferries with the local optimistic the company will obtain more contracts shortly.

"We are very proud and pleased that we got such a strong agreement in these tough economic times that was overwhelmingly supported by our membership," said CAW/MWF Local 20 President Wayne Butler.

CAW area director Les Holloway said these two agreements are important steps toward  ensuring the Canadian shipbuilding industry continues to grow. "It's now equally important that all levels of government and industry work together to ensure our shipbuilding industry remains strong for years to come."

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