Fredericton – The Public Service Alliance of Canada, the bargaining agent that represents 25 striking workers at the Fredericton International Airport, will respond in opposition to an application by the FIAA to the Canada Industrial Relations Board. The employer has requested binding arbitration by forcing a single arbitrator to choose between the union and the employer’s package. The union is eager to reach a fair and equitable agreement, which also includes a negotiated Return to Work Protocol. However, it does not believe that can be achieved under the conditions laid out in the request.
“We have moved considerably since mediation began and, frankly, the employer hasn’t really moved at all,” says Christine Collins, Union of Canadian Transportation Employees’ National President. “We are prepared to negotiate in good faith, as long as the employer is willing to do the same and not simply hold to their original position.”
The Union believes that the best collective agreements are those negotiated between the parties and not imposed on the parties by a single arbitrator. The employer is proposing a win-lose situation that can only lead to a more strained work environment. The Union will submit its response to the CIRB within the timeframe required.
“Everyone wants a resolution.” says Collins. “The truth of the matter is that the strike has taken a toll on the airport, on the community and on the workers. ”
This week marks the twelfth week of a strike that has garnered broad support from community, labour and various levels of government. The small local has organized an effective strike and shown resilience on the picket line while respecting the terms of the Essential Services Agreement at the airport.
This week also marks the end of the third year that this bargaining unit has been without a collective agreement.
The 25 striking workers at Fredericton Airport are proud members of UCTE, a Component of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, a national union with over 180,000 members. They are also proud airport workers who look forward to achieving an agreement and getting back to work in an environment where labour relations can be improved.
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.