Strike vote looms as RA Centre employees reject final offer

OTTAWA, April 3, 2014 /CNW/ - Employees of the RA Centre have voted 95 per cent to reject their employer's latest contract offer, after it asked the Ontario Ministry of Labour to force a vote. Unifor says a strike vote will be conducted soon, and employees could be in a strike position as early as April 10, 2014.

Unifor represents two groups of employees at Ottawa's RA Centre.

The RA Centre has resisted efforts to move forward with bargaining since a new employee group was organized almost a year ago, and have eliminated a severance pay benefit for retiring employees. The Ontario Labour Relations Board will hold a hearing today on a Unifor complaint about the RA Centre's conduct.

"The unilateral cancellation of a severance pay benefit for retiring employees is a huge issue," said Mike Armstrong, National Representative at Unifor. "The RA Centre should have brought the issue to the bargaining table if it wanted to copy the federal public service by eliminating that benefit."

Unifor and the RA Centre are also mired in a different Labour Board dispute after an attempt by the Centre to remove one employee from the union's new bargaining unit. Several days of hearing at the Ontario Labour Relations Board are scheduled later this year.

"RA Centre members should rightly be concerned about the huge cost of the multiple legal proceedings that are resulting from the RA Centre's conduct," said Armstrong. The RA Centre relies on the support of its members, most of whom are unionized public servants.

RA Centre employees have been represented by Unifor and its predecessors since 1972.

Unifor was founded Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged. With more than 300,000 members, Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector.

SOURCE: Unifor

For further information:

Mike Armstrong, National Representative

Shelley Burgoyne, Communications

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