National Elevator Escalator Association (NEEA) files application with the Ontario Labour Relations Board for return to work for residential buildings in GTA, Simcoe County

During the strike, elevators and escalators in Ontario continue to be safe and maintained by trained, qualified workers

TORONTO, June 13, 2013 /CNW/ - The National Elevator Escalator Association (NEEA) has filed an application with the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) to require the International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC) to comply with Section 150 of the Ontario Labour Relations Act (OLRA) and direct their members to return to work on residential buildings, effective June 17, 2013.

NEEA began asking elevator technicians assigned to work in new and existing residential buildings in certain jurisdictions to return to their positions on June 17th.  While initial reaction from workers was positive, IUEC leaders have advised workers not to comply with the law.  NEEA believes that the IUEC leadership's actions are unfortunate, and unfair to both workers and Ontarians.

NEEA looks forward to its Friday hearing at the OLRB, and hopes that employees will return to work as soon as possible.  Should the IUEC and workers not comply with a back-to-work order from the OLRB, they would be engaging in an unlawful strike.  In such a case, individual workers could be subject to fines of $2,000 each, and the IUEC could be subject to a fine of $25,000.

Ontario's Labour Relations Act requires that any strikes affecting construction of new residential buildings, as well as repairs at existing residential buildings, must end on June 15, 2013, for the City of Toronto, the Regions of Halton, Peel, York, Durham and the County of Simcoe.  Workers who have been on strike must return on June 17th to perform this residential work.

In addition, NEEA was pleased to return to mediation with the IUEC this week.  NEEA has proposed a significant wage increase and remains hopeful that a collective agreement can be reached, and will continue to work towards that end.

Ontarians should rest assured that elevating devices continue to be safe. Claims made to the contrary by some union leaders are untrue.  To help protect the most vulnerable Ontarians, NEEA has assigned top priority for repairs to elevators and escalators in hospitals and nursing homes.  Buildings with only one elevator are also being prioritized.  The Technical Standards Safety Authority (TSSA), Ontario's regulator with responsibility for safety inspections of elevating devices, continues to perform its work.

Workers have been on strike since May 1, 2013, when -- despite NEEA's best efforts to achieve a negotiated collective agreement with IUEC -- the union broke off negotiations and opted to go on strike.

Since that time, NEEA member companies have been deploying trained, qualified employees to keep the vast majority of Ontario's elevating devices in good working order.  Even under trying circumstances, today more than 95% of all of the elevators and escalators in Ontario maintained by KONE, Otis, Schindler and ThyssenKrupp Elevator continue to be fully operational.

About National Elevator Escalator Association (NEEA)

NEEA is made up of member companies KONE, Otis, Schindler and ThyssenKrupp Elevator.  Ontario's Labour Relations Act designates the NEEA as an employer bargaining agency.  In this role, NEEA bargains collectively with the IUEC for all employers performing Industrial-Commercial-Institutional (ICI) construction in Ontario.

SOURCE: National Elevator Escalator Association (NEEA)

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National Elevator Escalator Association (NEEA)

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