Let's put an end to non-living wages

    OTTAWA, Nov. 30 /CNW Telbec/ - A group of Commissionaires and their
supporters held a demonstration this morning in front of the National
headquarters of the Corps of Commissionaires to protest the non-living wages
paid by the Corps. Members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC),
the Commissionaires provide security services for Health Canada buildings in
Ottawa. Paid an average of $12.25 per hour, the Corps is nevertheless asking
the Commissionaires to accept a wage cut.
    "The Corps is really adding insult to injury," said Bob Legault who is
the President of PSAC Local 70113. "We've been trying to negotiate a first
collective agreement for 18 months and the Corps stubbornly maintains that our
salaries must be reduced. It's nonsense," he added.
    The Commissionaires voted to take strike action on November 2, 2007 and
they have been ratcheting up the pressure ever since. The Corps wants to
impose a two-tier wage structure that will reduce even more the salary paid to
new employees.
    Ed Cashman, PSAC Regional executive Vice-President for the National
Capital Region, says that the Corps is trying again to apply its union-busting
tactics. "Every time a group of Commissionaires has joined the PSAC, the Corps
has done everything it could to prevent them from negotiating a collective
agreement," Cashman said.
    "Every time, the Corps has failed and I'm confident the Ottawa
Commissionaires will be able to negotiate a collective agreement they can be
proud of." The PSAC has more than a dozen Locals representing Commissionaires
in all regions of Canada.
    Since negotiations began in June 2006, the Corps has consistently refused
to discuss salaries and has tried to impose a wage cut. The Ontario Government
appointed a conciliation officer to facilitate negotiations but the Corps
continued to insist on wage concessions.
    Recently the Corps sought a ruling from the Ontario Labour Relations
Board (OLRB) that the November strike vote was illegal. The OLRB dismissed the
Corps' case.

For further information:

For further information: Ed Cashman, PSAC Regional Executive
Vice-President, NCR, (613) 297-1924; Bob Legault, President, PSAC Local 70113,
(613) 293-6592; Alain Cossette, PSAC Communications, (613) 293-9210

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