N.S.-born gender equity champion named Commander of British Empire
Two of the three mega-blocks of the future Canadian naval ship HMCSÂ Harry DeWolf are seen at the Halifax Shipyard in Halifax on July 18, 2017.
The union at the Halifax shipyard where the “backbone” of the next generation of Royal Canadian Navy vessels are being built has given 48-hour strike notice, with picket lines expected to go up Saturday morning.
Unifor issued a news release Thursday saying a strong majority of 850 unionized employees at Irving’s Halifax Shipyard have rejected a tentative contract.
Marine Workers Federation Local 1 said in the release that
75 per cent of its members voted against the deal offered following eight months of negotiations.
The local said the four-year tentative agreement that was rejected included increases of 1.5 per cent per year over the next four years.
Unifor said the employer did not agreed to paid sick days for workers, however.
“This is not just about economics, it’s about respect for workers and fixing the workplace for members and they are clearly sending a strong message to Irving today,” Jerry Dias, Unifor’s national president, said in the statement.
A spokesperson for J.D. Irving was contacted by email and telephone, but the company said Thursday morning it was still working on a public response regarding the looming labour dispute.
Larry Haiven, a professor emeritus of labour relations at the Sobeys school of business at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, said in an interview that it appears the tensions have been brewing for some time.
“This comes after several years of management tightening the screws. There’s a lot of baggage that comes into this set of negotiations,” he said.
A Halifax-born banker who is a fierce advocate of gender equity in corporate boardrooms has been named a Commander of the Most Excellent
Order of the
British Empire by Queen Elizabeth.
Brenda Trenowden is head of the Financial Institutions Trenowden Group in Europe for ANZ Bank and global chairwoman of the 30% Club, which campaigns for greater representation of women on the boards of the London Stock Exchange’s top performing companies.
She says she has been overwhelmed by congratulatory notes and flowers since Birthday Honours this month.
“It’s a big deal in the U.K.,” says Trenowden, who can now use the post-nominal initials CBE after her name.
Trenowden, who for three years also served as president of the City Women Network — a businesswomen’s group in London — says she advocates for better gender balance on boards and in executive management “not because it’s what’s right but because it’s proven to be better for business.” She says there is a “mountain of research” that shows gender parity in the workplace is good for a company’s bottom line. The 30% Club has nearly reached its goal — with women making up 28.9 per cent of the boards, up from 12.5 per cent when the campaign started. the Queen’s List was released