Olympic torch avoids crossing picket line at Museum of Civilization

OTTAWA, Dec. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - The Olympic torch relay made good time by avoiding delays as it passed - rather than cross - the picket line of workers on strike at the Museum of Civilization.

"It passed by on the street right in front of us, and it was very inspiring to see the Olympic ideals being upheld," says Eric Pallotta, a picket-line captain and member of the Public Service Alliance of Canada. "We're really grateful and appreciative that the Olympic torch respected our picket line."

Plans to do a hand-off of the torch on museum grounds were changed after organizers spoke with the strikers yesterday morning. Organizers plotting the course of the Olympic torch had approached Pallotta to inform the strikers of the plans for the hand-off, and Pallotta explained that crossing the picket line would mean delays for the relay. Olympic-torch organizers decided to do the hand-off elsewhere.

"We believe that the Olympics represent the ideals of fair play and moral integrity, and we took it as a given that they wouldn't cross the picket line," Pallotta says. "We're extremely glad they stuck to those ideals."

Contract negotiations between PSAC and museum management resumed yesterday afternoon, after federal mediators called the two parties back to the bargaining table. Workers from the Museum of Civilization and the War Museum have been on strike since September 21. Several attempts at a mediated settlement resulted in weeks-long delays, and the workers voted down the museum's last offer by a margin of 96 per cent.

Negotiations are currently under a media blackout, but updates will be made available as soon as possible.


For further information: For further information: Ariel Troster, PSAC Communications, (613) 293-8363

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