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Minister Leitch takes action to preserve health and safety in the offshore oil industry in Newfoundland and Labrador

OTTAWA, Feb. 26, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Canada's Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, has referred a labour dispute at Cancrew Enterprises Limited to the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB). The company operates four crude oil shuttle tankers in Newfoundland and Labrador serving the Hibernia, Terra Nova and White Rose oil fields.

Under the Canada Labour Code, upon referral by the Minister of Labour during a labour dispute, the CIRB may issue binding orders with respect to the maintenance of activities to ensure that a work stoppage does not threaten public safety or health. Both the union and the employer must continue their normal work activities until a determination has been made by the CIRB.

Quick Facts

  • The collective agreement between Cancrew Enterprises Limited and the Canadian Merchant Service Guild expired on May 31, 2012. A tentative agreement reached on January 10, 2014, with the assistance of a mediator, was rejected by the union membership. On February 7, union members voted in favour of strike action.
  • The Canadian Merchant Service Guild members include all licensed Canadian employees (approximately 116) of Cancrew Enterprises employed aboard all shuttle tankers owned, operated, chartered, crewed or managed by the employer in the Canadian offshore oil production transportation industry.
  • The CIRB is an independent, representational, quasi-judicial tribunal. Its mandate is to interpret and apply the provisions of Part I of the Canada Labour Code that deal with collective bargaining and unfair labour practices.


"Our government is not prepared to allow a potential work stoppage to jeopardize the health, safety and security of the workers in the oil industry. That's why I have taken action to refer this dispute to the CIRB. I will let the Board evaluate the risks and ensure safeguards for workers are in place before any job action is taken."
- The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women

SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

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