Victoria Shipyards workers narrowly ratify new 4-year contract

Unionized workers at Victoria Shipyards have narrowly accepted a new four-year contract after last-minute negotiations with employer Seaspan.

Workers voted 53 per cent in favour of accepting the deal, which was ratified on Friday, according to representative Rob Taylor of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local 191.

The new contract provides workers with a 0.5 per cent wage increase in the first year and a 0.5 per cent increase in the third year, for a one per cent increase over the life of the four-year contract, Taylor said.

The workers suspended their job action earlier this month, which had prohibited members from working outside regularly scheduled hours.

The short-lived overtime ban came into effect on April 4 but was resolved with a new contract offer from Seaspan that same day.

Despite the new deal, the union rep says a shortage of skilled workers remains a main concern at Victoria Shipyards, which is based at the Esquimalt Graving Dock.

Seaspan's operations locally include the maintenance and repair of cruise ships and ferries, as well as work on frigates and submarines for the Royal Canadian Navy.

CTV News has reached out to the union for further details.