OAKVILLE, ON, Sept. 27, 2011 /CNW/ - Contract negotiations between
Oakville Transit and the CAW have stalled and Oakville Transit workers
could be forced to take strike action as early as 11:59 p.m. Friday,
CAW President Ken Lewenza said that after many days of negotiations over
the last five months, management at Oakville Transit has failed to
address any of the concerns raised by its staff (including issues
around scheduling rights, vacations and treatment of injured workers).
"So far, these negotiations have been an utter disappointment," Lewenza
said. "The management team has sent a clear signal to our bargaining
committee that they are not interested in hearing our concerns and that
they are not interested in getting this deal done."
Wages, benefits and other monetary issues have not yet come up for
discussion at the bargaining table.
Lewenza lambasted Oakville Transit for its mistreatment of injured
workers. The union maintains the company has issued an inordinate
number of unjust terminations and suspensions targeting injured
workers. The employer has also forced disabled workers (currently
off-work receiving WSIB benefits or receiving short-term disability
benefits) to use up personal vacation time during their period of
CAW Local 1256 President Angus MacDonald said the employer has limited
its availability to meet with the union before the strike deadline,
which suggests a work stoppage is imminent.
"This is an unfortunate situation, one that we have desperately tried to
avoid," MacDonald said. "Our members are concerned, not just for their
own standard of living, but for the impact a work stoppage will have on
transit service in the community."
MacDonald said the union is doing everything in its power to bargain a
fair settlement in an effort to avoid a strike. In the event of a
strike, union members have committed to continue operating all local
car-A-van services for citizens with disabilities.
"In my 10 years of bargaining experience, I have never seen an employer
act with such total disregard for the bargaining process as Oakville
Transit is doing today," said CAW National Staff Representative Paulo
Ribeiro, who is overseeing the Oakville Transit negotiations for the
The CAW represents 180 workers at Oakville Transit, including drivers,
mechanics and cleaners. The transit workers contract expired on May 15.
SOURCE Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW)
For further information:
Paulo Ribeiro, CAW Staff Representative (416) 302-3966; or Angelo DiCaro, CAW Communications (416) 606-6311