Commissionaires at Health Canada to take strike action

    OTTAWA, Nov. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - The Ontario Labour Relations Board ruled
on November 17 that the Commissionaires at Health Canada are in a legal strike
position. The Commissionaires plan to exercise their right to strike on
Tuesday, November 20 at Tunney's Pasture in Ottawa.
    The Commissionaires conducted a strike vote on November 2 and 3. About
80 per cent of the membership voted with two thirds voting in favour of strike
action. The Corps of Commissionaires sought to have the vote declared illegal,
but the OLRB rejected the employer's request.
    A strike by the Commissionaires could interfere with work at Health
Canada and present serious problems for vehicle and pedestrian traffic around
some of the government buildings at the government's Tunney's Pasture complex.
    Bob Legault is President of PSAC Local 70113 which represents the
Commissionaires who provide security services at the Health Canada building in
Ottawa. He says the vote in favour of strike action clearly indicates that the
Commissionaires will no longer be threatened or intimidated by their employer.
    "For 18 months now, we've tried to convince the Corps to recognize our
collective rights," he says. "Now that we have an OLRB decision in our favour,
the Corps will have to come back to the bargaining table and negotiate a fair
and just collective agreement."
    The collective bargaining process started in June 2006. However, so far
the employer has refused to negotiate a monetary settlement. The Corps of
Commissionaires is attempting to force its employees to accept a wage
reduction and a two-tier salary structure. The Commissionaires currently earn
an average of $12.25 an hour. Some of them are war veterans.

    The PSAC has a dozen Locals representing Commissionaires across Canada.
Many of those Locals have already expressed their support for the Ottawa
Commissionaires as did PSAC locals and other unions with members working in
the buildings where the Commissionaires provide security services.

For further information:

For further information: Alain Cossette, (613) 560-4317, (613) 392-9210

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