Negotiations Break Down as Drivetest Employees Try to Stand Up for Road Safety and Working Conditions - Strike to Begin.



    TORONTO, Aug. 21 /CNW/ - After the union granted two extensions of the
negotiation deadline and tried everything to make a settlement, Serco
DES/Drivetest remained fixed on its position that continues to impose
unacceptable working conditions and that see employees with dwindling hours
and very little job protection.
    Serco was intractable, and simply not willing to make an offer to meet
the needs of the members of United Steelworkers Local 9511. "That is why our
members will be going on strike immediately, said Jim Young, President of
United Steelworkers Local 9511, which represent over 550 members in Ontario.
    "What is at stake here is quality service for driving examinations, so
the public are safe on Ontario's roads," said Young.
    "Our members work very hard to provide top quality professional service
to the people of Ontario. Unfortunately the working conditions that were put
in place after the service was privatized to Serco are not only unfair to the
workers but seriously jeopardize the service provided. This means Ontario is
shortchanged on the quality of service the general public deserve and expect,"
said Wayne Fraser, USW District Director for Ontario and Atlantic Canada.
    "Our members told us they needed significant changes in working
conditions for the safety and quality of service. In bargaining we attempted
to convince Serco to make the changes that would not only benefit our members
but that would ultimately improve our ability to serve the public," said
Young. "In numerous meetings we hear directly from our member than Serco's
offer does not meet their needs."
    "I believe the public should be concerned about the loss of experience
and expertise that is occurring under the current Serco model of operation. If
extracting profit from the public is the only criteria in running this public
service, it will ultimately make our roads much less safe," said Fraser.
    Serco DES Inc. acquired the right to provide driver examination services
from MTO in Sept 2003 for a term of 10 years for the sum of $114 million
dollars after the decision was made to privatize the service.





For further information:

For further information: visit the USW Local 9511 website:
www.usw9511.ca; Contacts: Jim Young, President of USW Local 9511, (647)
409-9511; Wayne Fraser, USW District 6 Director, (416) 577-4045; Marie Kelly,
USW District 6 Assistant Director, (416) 705-3627


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