Unifor's Ships Stay Here campaign proves successful in closing the work gap
On May 22, 2019, the federal government announced it will purchase two additional Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS), adding to the contract currently underway at Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax. The news comes as a relief to MWF-Unifor Local 1 members who ran the Ships Stay Here campaign.
Publicly and behind the scenes, Unifor members at the Halifax shipyard raised awareness about the forecasted gap in work between fabrication contracts and pressured the federal government to ensure the work remained steady. This campaign has been a success and Unifor congratulates and thanks the members for their excellent work.
Read the news release here.
Irving Shipyard workers make noise to save jobs
Unifor members at the Halifax Shipyard marched from the yard through downtown Halifax to City Hall to raise awareness about the Ships Stay Here campaign earlier this week.
“Unifor will vigorously defend good shipbuilding jobs for the region and Nova Scotians are keenly aware of the impact the shipyard has on the regional economy, which is why we must all work together to ensure steady employment and stability for families,” said Lana Payne, Unifor Atlantic Regional Director.
Standing on the steps of Grand Parade facing City Hall on Tuesday, Unifor members shared their concerns live on Facebook and spoke to local journalists about the importance of these jobs for the entire Atlantic region.
“It’s essential for the success of the National Shipbuilding Strategy to maintain our skilled workforce right here in Halifax,” said Adam Hersey, Unifor-MWF Local 1 Business Agent. “The repair work on Halifax-class ships is work that will bridge our two major fabrication contracts and is currently supporting 300 jobs.”
Members are concerned some repair work on Halifax-class ships will be sent out of province resulting in hundreds of layoffs.
“Our people are the best people to do this work,” said David Baker-Mosher, President of Unifor-MWF Local 1. “We’ve been doing it for years, and we need to continue doing it to maintain our skilled workforce.”
After the rally, a resolution was brought inside and presented to Halifax City Council. Reaction to the resolution calling for municipal support was overwhelmingly positive. The resolution was carried with a unanimous vote, an addition to copy every Nova Scotia Member of Parliament on their communication of support, and commitment from Councillor Steven Adams to send the resolution to every other Nova Scotian municipality.
The Unifor Halifax Office has been getting many calls from individuals requesting lawn signs, which can now be seen across the region, supporting #ShipsStayHere.
Supporters are encouraged to visit the campaign website at shipsstayhere.ca to sign the petition, which to date has over 2,000 signatures.
Members cover the city with Ships Stay Here signs
Unifor-MWF Local 1 members took to the streets today to get the word out about Ships Stay Here. Hundreds of signs were posted at key intersections around Halifax and on private lawns.
The shipbuilders also took time to speak to local media about the campaign and the importance of keeping the work at the Irving Shipyard.
"We've been doing this work since the ships were built in the 90's and we know these ships inside and out," Ryan Lapointe, Chief Shop Steward at Local 1 told CTV News.
If you live in the Halifax area and would like a lawn sign to display on your property, please contact the Unifor Halifax Office by email or phone.