Local 793 responds to strike threat

    OAKVILLE, ON, Oct. 15 /CNW/ - Local 793 of the International Union of
Operating Engineers is preparing for a strike by office staff at its
headquarters in Oakville, a training centre in Morrisburg and 12 offices
across Ontario.
    The union presented a final contract offer recently to Local 343 of the
Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union (COPE), which represents the
37 staff members, however, COPE has indicated that the offer will likely be
rejected, leaving the workers on strike as of Oct. 27, 2007.
    The package includes an industry-leading wage increase of eight per cent
over three years retroactive to Jan. 1, 2007. In addition to the wage
increase, the contract offer proposes improvements to the pension and health
and benefit plans which are paid for by Local 793.
    "We value our office staff and have offered them a very generous wage
settlement," said Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher. "However, COPE
wants to add language that would restrict the ability of our union to provide
proper services to our membership. We can not allow such a thing to happen as
it would not be in the best interests of our members."
    For example, said Gallagher, it is absurd that COPE has filed an unfair
labour practice against Local 793 over an employee handbook that was produced
in March 2007. The handbook was published to familiarize employees with
organizational policies and practices of the union. The handbook, among other
things, outlines dress code requirements and stipulates appropriate measures
and procedures that should be taken in emergency situations.
    COPE also wants the office staff to be allowed to do make-up time, which
would only reward tardiness and further disrupt services to members, Gallagher
    Presently, office staff at Local 793 work a 32-hour week and, on average,
they get four weeks vacation, plus 12 sick days and two floats days. Some
senior staff can have up to seven weeks vacation.
    "Our office staff already has a wage package and collective agreement
that are well above industry standards and they enjoy superior working
conditions in a new building. This is a generous offer yet COPE is
recommending that it be turned down. I'd encourage the office staff to get the
facts before they vote because I don't believe COPE is telling them the whole

    Local 793 is a provincial building trade union and represents more than
10,000 construction and industrial workers throughout Ontario.

For further information:

For further information: Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher at
(905) 469-9299

Organization Profile

International Union of Operating Engineers - Local 793

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