Thursday November 22, 2018
For Immediate Release
Vancouver, BC – It took two strike mandates and two agreement rejections but members of IAM Local Lodge 692 have ratified the five-union poly-party contract agreement with Seaspan Vancouver Shipyards.
“This employer wanted to remove seniority provisions of our current collective agreement,” explained IAM District Lodge 250 Directing Business Representative Walter Gerlach. “We have dispatch rights in the shipyards and the employer wanted to control them, it was among 11 proposals they introduced to weaken our seniority rights. They also wanted to assign work from one union’s jurisdiction to another.” That prompted a 99.7 per cent strike mandate from the membership. Once the two sides returned to the table it took nine meetings to remove the employers proposals but the subsequent memorandum of agreement was rejected. However Seaspan refused to drop its demand for a compressed work week to which the unions responded with another 72 hour strike notice. This memorandum of agreement was also rejected. Finally the two sides agreed to a mediated settlement which the five unions involved ratified by just over 60 percent.
The five-year agreement provides wage increases of 2 per cent plus $ .15 per hour for health and welfare or pensions in the first, second and third year respectively, and a 3 per cent wage increase plus $ .15 per hour for health and welfare or pensions in the fourth and fifth year respectively. The agreement also contains a new grievance procedure intended to streamline the grievance process.
The 65 IAM members consist ship mechanics, machinists and heavy duty mechanics. Other unions involved in the new agreement include the IBEW, A/U, Marine and Shipbuilders and Move Up (COPE).
Seaspan Vancouver Shipyards is currently building two 3.2 ton offshore fisheries vessels and is under contract to provide a Coastguard Polar Ice Breaker, one Oceanographic Science Research vessel, two support ships for the Royal Canadian Navy and ten offshore patrol vessels for the Canadian Coastguard.
For further information:
Walter Gerlach – IAM District Lodge 250 Directing Business Representative
Bill Trbovich – IAM Director of Communications
416-386-1789 Ext #31/4160735-9765