Museum workers vote to strike

    OTTAWA, Aug. 28 /CNW Telbec/ - Workers at the Museum of Civilization and
War Museum are prepared to walk the picket line this fall, if the museums'
management continues to refuse them workplace fairness and the same
protections in place for other federal workers in the Ottawa/Gatineau region.
    "PSAC members at the Museum of Civilization and War Museum voted 92 per
cent in favour of strike action yesterday," said Maria Fitzpatrick, the
union's Regional Executive Vice-President for the National Capital Region.
    "These 420 workers are simply demanding the same terms and conditions as
other federal workers doing the same work in Ottawa/Gatineau. They have no job
security whatsoever and no recognition of their years of service in a number
of critical areas including career advancement," she said.
    The majority of the floor staff at the museums - guides, program
animators and hosts - work on temporary contracts. Most of them have been
working from one contract to the other for long periods of time. Out of 55
guides at the museums, only six are permanent employees.
    Workers at the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the War Museum have no
opportunity for career advancement under their collective agreement. There are
no provisions that give preference to internal candidates when permanent
positions become available. And unlike most other museums in the region, the
workers have no protections against contracting out.
    The Canadian Museum of Civilization and the War Museum had the highest
attendance and brought in more revenue than any other museum or gallery in the
National Capital Region last year. Meanwhile, workers' salaries at the two
museums are lower than all of the other federal museum workers in the
Ottawa/Gatineau - in some cases 40 per cent lower.
    Negotiations with the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation (CMCC)
began in April. Talks broke down in August, after the museums' management
refused to grant any job security provisions whatsoever to the workers. The
workers will be in a legal strike position by mid-September.
    "We sincerely hope that the CMCC will come back to the bargaining table,
prepared to grant the museum workers respect and fairness on the job," said
Fitzpatrick. "If they refuse, the workers will have no other choice but to

For further information:

For further information: or to schedule interviews: Ariel Troster, PSAC
Communications, (613) 292-8363 (cell)

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