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Irving Shipyard workers suspended after refusing work in Halifax

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Some workers at Irving Shipbuilding have been suspended with pay pending an investigation over work refusal.

The company confirms some employees refused work at the site for what they said were safety reasons.

"We can confirm that there was a work refusal at the Halifax Shipyard yesterday," said Mel Schori, Irving Shipbuilding's director of communications and government relations in an email to CTV News on Wednesday.

"In the normal course of addressing that work refusal, the Department of Labour attended the facility to review the circumstances and assess the merits of the work refusal. After completing its review, the Department of Labour deemed the work refusal unjustified," Schori said.

Last week, 43-year-old Jamie Knight died while working in the Halifax yard.

The labour department says a stop work order remains in effect for all snow removal equipment and processes on-site and the fatality investigation is ongoing.

"We cannot share further details on this ongoing investigation. Workplace investigations are complex and can take up to two years to complete," said Monica MacLean, manager of Communications Nova Scotia.

MacLean also confirmed the department investigated complaints at the site on Tuesday.

"On Feb. 21, 2024, Officers also responded to a safety concern raised by employees which has been resolved. Workplace safety is everyone’s responsibility and we do encourage all Nova Scotians to contact us at 1-800-9Labour," she said.

The company declined to comment further.

"It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time," said Schori.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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