Members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada’s Union of Canadian Transportation Employees (UCTE) Local 60601 who work at the Fredericton International Airport are preparing to set up picket lines at the airport 5am Monday morning. The local is also conducting an information picket at the airport today between 11am-1pm.
“We are disappointed that at such a critical time, the employer, contrary to public statements, did not come to mediation prepared to negotiate,” says UCTE Regional Vice-President Wayne Fagan. “There is no progress.”
The employer did not return to the hotel today for mediation. The mediator has informed the parties that she will leave Fredericton this evening.
On Saturday, airport workers held an information picket at the Hilltop Grill & Beverage Co. whose owner is a member of the Airport Authority’s board of directors.
Talks were scheduled to take place this weekend at a downtown hotel with the assistance of federal mediator Carol Wall. However, no face to face between the PSAC and the Airport Authority were conducted.
There will be strike at 5am at the airport, unless a tentative agreement is reached that the union team can recommend to its membership. On Thursday, Local 60601’s bargaining agent the Public Service Alliance of Canada gave the Fredericton International Airport Authority the 72 hours strike notice required under federal law.
The union will set up picket lines in accordance with applicable legislation and prior court decisions on this matter.
“Contrary to statements made by the employer, no negotiation on the location of the picket has occurred or will occur.” says Fagan. “We will picket wherever we can legally picket and not where the employer wants us to.”
Contrary to Airport Authority claims, the union advises the traveling public that a strike could disrupt airport operations and access to the airport. The public and all union members will be asked to not cross the picket line. Anyone planning to travel is encouraged to use Saint John and Moncton Airports during the strike.
Still outstanding are numerous issues related to compensation and classification. The employer has also yet to withdraw clawbacks the union finds unacceptable.
The 25 airport workers have been without a collective agreement since May 2009.
Local 60601 members provide operational services, including runway clearing, buildings and equipment upkeep, fire, security and emergency services, as well as
administrative and billing services.
These employees are proud members of the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees, a component of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, a national union with over 180,000 members.