Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Collective sigh over tentative airport deal

July 9th, 2013


MP Cleary praises both sides of airport strike for tentative deal


Mount Pearl/St. John’s – New Democrat MP Ryan Cleary (St. John’s South-Mount Pearl) is elated that a tentative deal has been reached to end the more than 10-month strike at St. John`s International Airport.

``This labour dispute has had a huge impact on the economy of the northeast Avalon in terms of lost business and tourism opportunity,” says Cleary. ``Travellers have been inconvenienced, and in some cases safety may have been compromised. Now both sides – the airport authority and the union – can work on rebuilding their relationship.”

In May, Cleary wrote Lisa Raitt, federal Minister of Labour, requesting the appointment of an independent mediator to help resolve the labour dispute between the airport authority and 85 striking workers, members of the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees (UCTE), a component of the Public Service Alliance of Canada. The strike began on Sept. 11, 2012.

In response, Raitt appointed a mediator to both sides and called them to Ottawa for talks, which broke off after several weeks. The tentative deal – which has yet to be ratified by the membership – was crafted by the federally-appointed mediators and accepted by both sides.

“Unions and workers are under attack across Canada with Stephen Harper’s business-at-all-costs attitude and agenda,” says Cleary. “But collective bargaining is essential to a productive and healthy workplace and economy. The process – when respected by both sides – can still work for the benefit of all.”

“I also want to acknowledge the help of Minister Raitt for treating my request as a priority.”

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