Great Lakes dispatchers, office staff on-strike

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By Nick Seebruch
Great Lakes dispatchers, office staff on-strike
The striking workers are based out of the Seaway Building pictured here (Nick Seebruch/ Seaway News).

CORNWALL, Ontario – Members of the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees (UCTE), a Component of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) have took to the picket lines on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019.

The 13 employees, 10 dispatchers and three office staff work for the Great Lakes Pilotage Authority (GLPA) and are based out of the Seaway Building on the corner of Second and Pitt streets.

The union claims that their employees have been working without a contract since June of 2016.

“These workers are vital to the operations of trade shipments through our Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River; which are critical for our regional and national economies,” says Sharon DeSousa, PSAC Ontario Regional Executive Vice-President. “Moreover, this work is important to the wellbeing (sic) of Canadians and the environment, as nuclear waste and oil is transported along these waterways.”

The union states that they and their employer have already entered into conciliation and mediation, but have reached an impasse.

“Our members are vital to the waterway and its operation as a key shipping lane,” states Martin Mika, UCTE Regional Vice President for Ontario. “We are very close to achieving a fair deal and could resolve the situation quickly if the employer addresses our members issues to put an end to the strike.”

Union members voted unanimously in favour of a strike mandate after taking a vote in October.

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