FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Tuesday July 25, 2017
Striking Airport Workers Have a Message for the Employer – If You Value Us, Stop Negotiating in the Media
Winnipeg, MB – A picket line has been in place at the Winnipeg Airport since 3:00am Monday morning, following the failure of the employer to negotiate in good faith with workers represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees (UCTE). The employer has compounded this bad faith by negotiating its position in the media, rather than at the bargaining table.
“Despite the employer’s statements to the contrary, they did in fact walk away from the table Sunday at 5:30 p.m., after tabling an offer that failed to address the union’s core issues,” said Marianne Hladun, PSAC Regional Executive Vice-President, Prairies Region. “The refusal to move on the issue of contracting out of employees’ work, and then misrepresenting those discussions in the media, is a sign of deep disrespect by the employer towards their hard-working employees.”
Approximately 150 employees represented by PSAC/UCTE at the airport have been without a contract since June, 30 2016. Negotiations have been underway since October of 2016, with the union’s core concerns well established. Four of the seven days of intensive negotiations this past week—with the assistance of a federally-appointed mediator—were focused on contracting out of employees’ work.
“The Airport likes to tout that it is one of Manitoba’s best employers, but that is not what we are seeing today,” said Teresa Eschuk, Regional Vice-President, UCTE Prairies and North. “Negotiating through the media won’t erase the damaging effects that contracting out has on our members’ morale and working conditions.”
Members of the public and union members across the country have already pledged their their support and solidarity for the striking workers and made a commitment to not cross the picket line and make alternate travel arrangements.
PSAC represents more than 170,000 workers across Canada, including nearly 8,000 in Manitoba and 150 employees at the Winnipeg Airports Authority. UCTE is a component of PSAC, which represents workers in both the public sector—Transport Canada, Canadian Coast Guard, Parks Canada—and private sector—Airports and NAV Canada.
For more information, please contact:
Regional Communications Officer