NB Premier agrees to intervene after striking workers respect the royal visit
OTTAWA, May 23, 2012 /CNW/ - Striking workers at Fredericton International Airport Authority (FIAA) agreed to remove the picket line to allow HRH Prince Charles and Camilla, to visit Fredericton, NB on Sunday May 20th.
As a result of a phone call with Premier David Alward, workers at FIAA agreed to allow the visit. In return the Premier agreed to contact members of FIAA's board to ask that they return to the bargaining table.
"We could have been difficult but our members saw the importance of the Royal visit to the people of Fredericton", said Christine Collins, National President of the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees (UCTE). "All we want is to negotiate fairly and respectfully with the employer."
Employees have been on strike for almost 4 months now and have been without a collective agreement for over three years.
The employer's recent request to the Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) to intervene on the strike was denied last week. The employer cited that the strike was ineffective and wanted the CIRB to force a single arbitrator to choose one package or the other. The Union argued that an "all or nothing" approach was too heavy handed and that we wanted to continue negotiating in good faith. The CIRB agreed.
"The workers still want a negotiated collective agreement and have clearly shown their good faith in bringing down the picket line at the request of the Premier. I hope that the Premier can convince the employer to return to the table and negotiate in good faith", said Collins.
The Union of Canadian Transportation Employees represents the 25 striking workers at Fredericton Airport, a Component of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.
Local 60601 members provide operational services, including runway clearing, buildings and equipment upkeep, fire, security and emergency services, as well as administrative and billing servicesFor further information:
Communications & Special Projects Officer, UCTE