Commissionaires at Health Canada - Picket lines are back up!

    OTTAWA, Jan. 25 /CNW Telbec/ - Commissionaires providing security
services to health Canada buildings in Ottawa rejected their employer's latest
offer and decided overwhelmingly to continue their strike action. Motorists
can expect longer delays and tighter picket lines Friday morning, January 25,
in the vicinity of Tunney's Pasture and other locations in Ottawa.
    The Commissionaires are represented by the Public Service Alliance of
Canada. They are trying to negotiate a first collective agreement with their
employer, the Corps of Commissionaires. They went on strike almost ten weeks
ago when their employer wanted them to accept a wage reduction and a two-tier
wage structure.
    "This is what happens when an employer lets a strike last too long," said
Ed Cashman, the PSAC Executive Regional Vice-President for the National
Capital Region. "The longer the members are on strike, the higher their
expectations are," he added.
    They currently earn $12.25 an hour. The employer's latest offer provided
no salary increase the first year of the contract and salaries increases below
inflation rate for the following years.
    Cashman believes the Corps of Commissionaires make an important strategic
mistake by thinking the members were ready to go back to work and accept a
wage offer that is lower than the current rate of inflation.
    "While negotiations started more than a year and a half ago, management
has not yet understood that the way to solve the main issue is to make a
reasonable offer," Cashman said. "More than ever, the ball is clearly in the
Corps' camp; they have to make a serious offer before the Commissionaires'
strike creates more serious problems," he added.
    The union believes that the Commissionaires' strike action is not about
inconveniencing people working at Tunney's Pasture, it's about convincing the
Corps to come back to the bargaining table and to make a reasonable offer.
    The PSAC has more than a dozen Locals representing Commissionaires across
the country. Many of those Locals have already expressed their support for the
Ottawa Commissionaires.

For further information:

For further information: Alain Cossette, PSAC Communications (613)

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