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Autoport workers go on strike in Halifax

Autoport workers earned between $22.30 and $33.06 an hour after probation, according to a collective bargaining agreement for the Eastern Passage facility that expired in December 2023.  (Paul Palmeter/CBC - image credit)
Autoport workers earned between $22.30 and $33.06 an hour after probation, according to a collective bargaining agreement for the Eastern Passage facility that expired in December 2023. (Paul Palmeter/CBC - image credit)

Almost 240 workers at a vehicle processing facility in Eastern Passage, N.S., have gone on strike after negotiations between the union and the company failed to reach an agreement.

Unifor Local 100 workers at Autoport started strike action at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday. Union members rejected a tentative agreement earlier this month and provided a notice to strike on Friday.

In a news release, Unifor said Autoport plans to bring in replacement labour.

"The use of scab labour is proven to lengthen disputes and the company's actions have only increased the difficulty of obtaining a deal," said Lana Payne, Unifor national president, in the release.

Payne said the planned use of replacement labour highlights the need for the federal government to pass legislation on the issue.

Autoport, a subsidiary of CN, processes and ships close to 185,000 vehicles annually, according to the union.

Contingency plan 

"Today, Autoport enacted its contingency plan at its Eastern Passage facility to protect the continuity of the supply chain. Activities will continue uninterrupted as long as necessary," said Tom Bateman, a spokesperson for CN, on behalf of Autoport.

Unifor said negotiations with the employer began in September and were ongoing up until the strike deadline.

Workers at the facility earn between $22.30 and $33.06 an hour after probation, according to a collective bargaining agreement for the Eastern Passage facility that expired in December 2023.

"While this was not the outcome we hoped for, our resolve remains strong and we are fully prepared to engage in strike action to uphold the rights and fair treatment of our members," said Cory Will, president of Unifor Local 100, in the release.

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