Parks Canada workers raise importance of their role to world heritage

    QUEBEC CITY, July 3 /CNW Telbec/ - Workers at Parks Canada and their
supporters are calling on the delegates to UNESCO's 32nd Session of the World
Heritage Committee to consider respect for heritage workers as an important
part of preserving and protecting the world's natural and cultural heritage.
    "Workers built, operate and maintain historic buildings, monuments,
canals and locks," says the president of the National Component of the Public
Service Alliance of Canada, Daniel Kinsella. "Workers protect and preserve our
national parks and natural heritage areas. They interpret the significance of
our heritage to generations of people. Doesn't it make sense then that respect
for heritage includes respect for workers?"
    Bearing the slogan, "Respect for workers is respect for heritage," Parks
Canada workers and their supporters have gathered in Quebec City to pass out
information materials and host a reception for UNESCO delegates. They hope to
raise awareness about the important role of heritage workers and the need to
ensure that governments committed to world heritage maintain the proper
working conditions for workers to do their critical jobs.
    "The workers at Parks Canada are committed to and take great pride in
carrying out their mandate," says PSAC regional vice-president for the
Atlantic Jeannie Baldwin. "However, Parks Canada workers are finding it harder
and harder to do their important work when they are faced with job insecurity
and unfair working conditions."
    The year-long contract negotiations between Parks Canada workers and
their employer stalled in May when negotiators for the employer refused to
address the union's key issues and walked away from the table. These issues
include no contracting out, the privatization of parks services, the
downsizing of the bargaining unit and issues surrounding the arming of park
    "We've noticed that the employer's position and tactics at the bargaining
table are even older than Canada's heritage sites," says the president of
PSAC's Union of Canadian Transportation Employees Component, Mike Wing.
"That's one heritage we hope they wouldn't preserve."

    The more than 4,000 PSAC members at Parks Canada have been without a
contract since August 2007.

For further information:

For further information: Alain Cossette, PSAC Communications Officer,
(613) 293-9210

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