N.S. marine workers launch ‘Ships Stay Here’ campaign
HALIFAX— Shipbuilders at Halifax’s Irving Shipyard have launched a campaign to keep their work in Nova Scotia, as concerns mount over repair work on Halifax-class navy ships possibly being transferred to Davie Shipbuilding in Quebec.
Members of Unifor Marine Workers Federation Local 1, the union representing about 1,000 Irving workers, say the federal government has recently made comments suggesting they plan to move work to the Quebec shipyard.
Union officials have launched a petition under their “Ships Stay Here” campaign, asking people to share their support for workers.
“The loss of this work would be a loss for the Nova Scotian economy and families across the province. Logistically and economically, it makes sense to keep the work in Halifax,” read a statement on Unifor’s website.
“With a skilled workforce, supplier relationships firmly established in the region, an ice-free harbour, the Royal Canadian Navy’s Atlantic Fleet based right next door, and decades of experience, our members at the Irving Shipyard are best positioned to continue this work. We have the capacity and the demonstrated know-how.”
The union is also emailing a message to several politicians, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Sean Lewis, Irving Shipbuilding’s communications director, said in an email that Halifax-class maintenance supports 400 jobs at the shipyard.
“We have performed this work for almost 10 years, with a cost and schedule reputation to be proud of,” said Lewis.
In a statement to The Canadian Press last week, Department of National Defence spokesperson Ashley Lemire said the government intends to announce any changes to maintenance on Halifaxclass frigates in the coming weeks.