Halifax port workers pen new deal

Collective agreement reached through mediation services

More than 400 workers at the Halifax port have ratified a new collective agreement.

Signed at the beginning of April, the deal covers approximately 300 longshoremen, foremen and walking bosses, as well as about 70 checkers and 70 gear repair men working at the Port of Halifax, who had been without a contract since Dec. 31, 2013.

Both the federal labour ministry, the Halifax Employers Association and the Halifax Longshoremen’s Association ratified the contract with the help of the federal mediation and conciliation service, which provides dispute resolution and dispute prevention assistance to trade unions and employers. The Halifax Freight and Steamship Checkers Union and the Halifax Gear Repair and Maintenance Men were also involved.

According to Employment and Social Development Canada, 94 per cent of collective bargaining negotiations in the federal labour force were resolved without a work stoppage when the mediation service was involved.

“This agreement allows the employer and employees to pursue their work and contribute to the port’s international competitiveness,” said Kellie Leitch, the federal labour minister.

The Halifax port serves as a gateway for trade to and from North America and handles a wide range of cargo to and fro 150 countries worldwide.

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