Public Values

Museum workers want protection against contracting-out

Final offer does not protect workers, who call for arbitration.

Workers not ready to abandon line.The strike affecting museum workers at the Museum of Civilization and the War Museum that has dragged on since September is not over yet. At a membership meeting in Gatineau, 96 percent of a heavily attended meeting voted to reject the most recent offer by the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation (CMCC).

The museum had presented a final offer that did not provide the same protection against contracting-out currently in place for other museum and arts-related workers in the region.

"Clearly, even after 67 days on strike, the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation is not prepared to negotiate seriously or to resolve this dispute," said PSAC National President John Gordon.

PSAC advised the Minister of Labour after the vote that it believes that a negotiated settlement with the CCMC is impossible, and requested her direct intervention to resolve the dispute without further delay.

"I have written to Rona Ambrose, Minister of Labour, and have indicated to her that we support the appointment of a neutral third party to resolve this dispute through arbitration," said Gordon.

The striking members of PSAC voted to give their union a mandate to seek a fair settlement through binding arbitration. Shortly afterward, CMCC requested to resume negotiations with the union.

Negotiations resumed but were suspended over the weekend, at the museum's request. The parties re-convened yesterday morning, but talks broke off again last Saturday.

"We tried in good faith to reach an agreement but unfortunately, the corporation has made it impossible for us to achieve a fair contract," said Daniel Poulin, President of PSAC Local 70396. "The corporation refuses to agree to the same protections that other federal employers have agreed to. Our members stand firm in our resolve to prevent the subcontracting of our jobs to the lowest bidder."

Posted: November 30, 2009

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