Thursday, May 9, 2013

Cleary requests independent mediator to resolve St. John's airport dispute

May 9, 2013
 
Ottawa – MP Ryan Cleary, St. John’s South-Mount Pearl, today requested the appointment of an independent mediator to help resolve the labour dispute between the St. John’s International Airport Authority and 85 striking workers, members of the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees (UCTE), a component of the Public Service Alliance of Canada from the Honorable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Labour.

“St. John’s is about to enter its busiest travel and tourism season and this matter needs to be resolved for the safety of travelers and for the benefit of the economy of the northeast Avalon, and, indeed, all of Newfoundland and Labrador,” Cleary said from his Ottawa office.

In mid-February a federal mediator (Barney Dobbin) was called in to bring both sides back to the table (the strike began on Sept. 11, 2012), but has been unsuccessful in resolving the dispute.

“We need a fresh face at the table. We need to revitalize a process that has grown stale. We need an independent mediator in this dispute," said Cleary, who's recommending the appointment of well-respected labour lawyer, Bill Wells.

Wells was instrumental in ending the 18-month job action between Vale (operator of the Voisey’s Bay mine in Labrador) and the United Steelworkers following his appointment as independent mediator in September, 2010 by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
 
Cleary spoke with Conservative Labour Minister Lisa Raitt Thursday afternoon in the House of Commons and she committed to consider the request.
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May 9th, 2013

Hon. Lisa Raitt
Minister of Labour
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A OA6

 
Dear Minister,

I’m writing to request the appointment of an independent mediator to help resolve the labour dispute between the St. John’s International Airport Authority and 85 striking workers, members of the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees (UCTE), a component of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

In mid-February a federal mediator (Barney Dobbin) was called in to bring both sides back to the table (the strike began on Sept. 11, 2012), but has been unsuccessful in resolving the dispute.

St. John’s is about to enter its busiest travel and tourism season and this matter needs to be resolved for the safety of travelers and for the benefit of the economy of the northeast Avalon, and, indeed, all of Newfoundland and Labrador.

We need a fresh face at the table. We need to revitalize a process that has grown stale. We need an independent mediator in this dispute.

I respectively recommend the appointment of Bill Wells to the post. Mr. Wells, a well-respected labour lawyer, is a life member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Bar and is not in active practice.

Mr. Wells was instrumental in ending the 18-month job action between Vale (operator of the Voisey’s Bay mine in Labrador) and the United Steelworkers following his appointment as independent mediator in September, 2010 by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

I urge you and your department to resolve this issue and bring workers and management back to the table.

 
Respectively,

 
Ryan Cleary,

 
 
MP, St. John’s South-Mount Pearl, Critic for Post-Secondary Education and ACOA

 

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