Fonds MS-9-17 - Marine Workers Federation fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Marine Workers Federation fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description


Reference code


Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


Physical description area

Physical description

3.5 m of textual records

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator

Administrative history

Marine Workers Federation Local 1 is located in Halifax, Nova Scotia and their office is in Bayers Lake. The local represents approximately 1,000 workers in the Halifax shipyards, plus they also represent the following units: office staff unit in the Halifax shipyards, the offshore services unit in Woodside, Dartmouth with approximately 250 of their members. Local 1 also represents 35 workers at Abco Industries in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia as well as approximately 80 workers at Maritime Steel in Dartmouth. Halifax Graving Dock Company was formed in England and capitalized with $1 million constructed Halifax Graving Dock, which officially opened on September 21, 1889. August 22, 1890 Halifax Graving Dock Company purchased the Chebucto Marine Railway Company Limited located in Dartmouth Cove. The Halifax Shipyards Limited was established in 1918, when a Montreal group purchased the Halifax Graving Dock Company facility, which had been destroyed in the 1917 Explosion. In 1920 the British Empire Steel Corporation acquired control of the shipyard's stock; it was subsequently purchased in 1930 by Dominion Coal and Steel Corporation (DOSCO). During the Second World War the shipyard built the first all Canadian destroyers and repaired more than 7,200 ships damaged in the battle of the Atlantic. Besides ship construction and repair, the shipyard also manufactured various wood and metal products for industry. In 1937 Local 1 had taken charter with the Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO) under Industrial Union of Marine and Shipbuilding Workers of America in Camden, New Jersey. In 1941 Local 1 changed over to Canadian Congress of Labour (CCL). In 1941 Local 1 signed first contract with DOSCO. In 1944 Local 1 went on strike and won dues check-off. In 1945 Local 1 became a part of the Maritime Marine Workers Federation. In 1958 A.V. Roe Canada (later Hawker Siddeley Canada) acquired a controlling interest in the shipyard. In 1961 Local 1 went on strike which lasted 9(11) weeks. Main reason was lack of willingness on the company’s side to negotiate. There was one offer “Take it or leave it”. Strike was resolved through the conciliator. From 1964-1968 the shipyard built numerous small ships. In 1968 the offshore oil construction business began, resulting in the shipyard's production of several SEDCO oil drilling rigs and a self-dynamically positioning SEDCO drill ship. In 1976 Local 1 went on strike for a wage increase to be parallel with Trenton Works also owned by Hawker Siddeley. Strike was resolved after 4(?) weeks trough the negotiations. In 1978 Hawker Siddeley was placed in receivership and a consortium, Halifax Industries Limited reached agreement with the Province of Nova Scotia to operate the shipyard. Modernization began in 1979, involving a $7.5 million mill upgrading and replacement program of yard infrastructure, and purchase of a floating dock to complement the existing graving dock. In 1983 a new Panamax floating dock was installed, capable of repairing the largest-sized ships on the eastern seaboard. By 1985 the shipyard had become bankrupt and was purchased by a group of Nova Scotians who renamed the company Halifax-Dartmouth Industries Limited. In 1994 the company was purchased by the Irving-owned Saint John Shipbuilding Limited and renamed Halifax Shipyard Limited. In 1996 at the special convention of MWF resolution is past for whole Federation to join Canadian Auto-Workers union. In 2004 Marine Workers Federation disbanded and Local 1 becomes chartered directly through CAW.

Custodial history

These records were donated to the Dalhousie University Archives by vairous donors including J.K. Bell in 1984, and Les Holloway in 1991. Other accessions were made without donor information in 1988, 1987, 1978.

Scope and content

This fonds includes a variety of photographic material relating to the Marine Workers Federation. As well this fonds contains a copy of the newspaper "The Nova Scotia Worker" Issued by the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script note

All material is in English.

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

There are no access restrictions on these materials. All materials are open for research.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Materials do not circulate and must be used in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room. Materials may be under copyright. Contact departmental staff for guidance on reproduction.

Finding aids

Associated materials

Related materials


No further accruals expected.

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Name access points

Accession area