Commissionaires vote to strike

    OTTAWA, Nov. 4 /CNW Telbec/ - The Commissionaires who provide security
services to Health Canada buildings in Ottawa have given a strike mandate to
their union, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC). They will be in a
legal strike position at midnight on Wednesday, November 7.
    A strike by the Commissionaires could interfere with the work at Health
Canada and represent serious problems for car and pedestrian traffic around
some government buildings at Tunney's Pasture.
    More than 80% of the Local's members took part in the strike vote that
was held last Thursday and Friday. Two thirds voted in favor of strike action
in the negotiations with their employer, the Corps of Commissionaires.
    The Commissionaires' negotiating team has rejected the Corps' offer of
wage rollback and two-tier salary. They earn an average of $12.25 an hour.
Some of them are war veterans.
    For the president of this PSAC Local, Bob Legault, the strike vote
indicates that the Commissionaires are standing up for their rights and that
they are determined to get some respect from their employer.
    "We've been negotiating for 18 months and the Corps is still making these
very insulting offers," Legault said. "All we want is to earn a living wage,
but the Corps does not want to hear about it."
    In their efforts to find a negotiated settlement, the Commissionaires
will meet on Tuesday, November 6 with John Baird, MP for Ottawa West-Nepean
and Minister of the Environment. Mr. Baird is an honorary member of the Corps
of Commissionaires.
    For Ed Cashman, the Regional Executive Vice-President for the PSAC in the
National Capital Region, the Commissionaires have shown much patience and
courage during these negotiations.
    "There are only fifty of them and they are facing a very rich employer
who has no respect for the workers," Cashman said. "They have a difficult
fight on their hands, but in the end, I'm convinced they will win."

    The PSAC has 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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