Sydney Ports Corp. abandons plan to hire non-unionized workers

The Canadian Press
May 2, 2014 03:12 PM

SYDNEY, N.S. - The Cape Breton corporation that operates the port facilities used by cruise ships in Sydney has abandoned a plan to replace unionized stevedores with non-unionized staff.

The Sydney Ports Corp., had said it wanted to end its reliance on third-party contractors after a workplace accident in October suggested the stevedores were not properly trained.

Adrian White, a member of the corporation's board of directors, said the non-profit agency decided it would be better to hire its own people to bring them under its safety rules.

White said the corporation chose to hire non-unionized staff because it saw no point in injecting a union between the employees and employer.

On Thursday, the International Transport Workers' Federation called on the unionized workers aboard a Holland America cruise ship to bypass Cape Breton until the labour dispute was settled.

As well, the stevedores had planned to stage a large protest at the Sydney Marine Terminal on Saturday.

The corporation, which only operates the facilities used by cruise ships, issued a statement Friday saying it would resume hiring unionized stevedores through two contractors at the port.

The stevedores, member of Unifor Local 4624, have handled cruise ship arrivals and departures through contractors for more than 30 years.


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