Minister Fortier must intervene in labour conflict

    OTTAWA, Feb. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - The President of the largest union within
the federal government asked Public Works minister, Michael Fortier, to
intervene into a three month old strike.
    "Your intervention is urgently requested to resolve a labour conflict
involving some of the lowest paid workers providing services to the federal
government." John Gordon, National President of the Public Service Alliance of
Canada wrote in a letter to Minister Fortier.
    For Gordon, Minister Fortier is entitled to intervene in this situation
because the work that is normally accomplished by the striking workers comes
under a standing offer from Public Works Canada.
    Gordon was referring to the employees of the Corps of Commissionaires who
provide security services to Health Canada buildings in Ottawa. They earn on
average $12,25 an hour. Recently, their employer presented an offer that
provided no salary increase for the first year of the contract and wages
increases below the inflation rate for the subsequent years. The
Commissionaires overwhelmingly rejected that offer.
    The President of the PSAC also indicated in his letter to Minister
Fortier that his union has requested an investigation by the Auditor General
of Canada regarding the Public Works and Government Services Canada Standing
Offer EN578-060200/001/ZL involving The Corps of Commissionaires.
    Under the standing offer, the Corps of Commissionaires charges $0.80/hr
when the Commissionaires provide bilingual services. However, the
Commissionaires are paid $0.45/hr for those services. a difference of $0.35/hr
per Commissionaire, or almost 45%.
    "Our membership believes that Canadians must receive value for their
money when purchasing goods and services and that suppliers are entitled to an
equitable profit margin," Gordon wrote. "However, there is a considerable
difference between the bilingual premiums paid by PWGSC and the premiums the
Commissionaires currently receive to provide the bilingual services," he
    For Gordon, the Minister's intervention could put an end to a labour
conflict that could have stopped a long time ago if the employer had made a
decent salary offer.

For further information:

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

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