NORTH BAY, ON, Nov. 26, 2015 /CNW/ - As the Ontario government's lock out of nearly 200 members of Unifor closes out its second week, demands for the involvement of Premier Kathleen Wynne is now coming from International corners. In a letter to the Premier, the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) headquartered in London UK, has called on the Wynne Government to get serious about negotiations.
"The government's all or nothing approach to the outstanding proposals is unacceptable, unreasonable and does nothing to advance the bargaining process. We understand there is a mechanism in the labour code that could see this dispute brought to a prompt resolve if you were to agree to Unifor's proposal to binding dispute resolution process" wrote ITF General Secretary Stephen Cotton, to Premier Wynne.
Earlier this week in the legislature, the Wynne government spoke highly of their record of labour peace in the province, proudly stating that Ontario has some of the best mediators in the country. Ontario Labour Minister Kevin Flynn went so far as to say that Ontario's "Kevin Burkett, [is] one of the best arbitrators and mediators that this country has to offer". (Hansard November 25, 2015)
"It is not missed on our members that the settlement by the Nipissing University Faculty Association and Nipissing University was reached as a result of the involvement of the mediator/arbitrator. Unifor has been calling on the Wynne government to agree to a similar process that would get ONTC negotiations restarted. For reasons known only to Premier Wynne, she continues to refuse to agree to process laid out in the labour code" said Andy Mitchell, Unifor Local 103 President.
"Arbitrator Burkett has extensive experience and knowledge in the rail sector and has familiarity with the industry's skilled trades issues. Unifor would readily agree to his appointment to this dispute and with such high praise from her own Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn, why would Premier Wynne continue to refuse to agree to a process that would bring labour peace in Northeastern Ontario?" concluded Mitchell
"If your government were to agree, negotiations would resume, employees would return to work and customers could continue to enjoy the valuable services provided by ONTC." concluded ITF's Cotton.
Unifor represents approximately 350 ONTC employees working in clerical, on-board service, stores, shops and Cochrane Station Inn at various locations across Northern Ontario. The lock out affects nearly 200 of those members.
SOURCE Unifor Local 103
For further information: Andy Mitchell is available at 705.493.3817; National Rail Director Brian Stevens is available at 416.567.8281