Building solidarity on International Workers’ Day

Regional Executive Vice-President Alex Silas visited the picket line at Best Theratronics on International Workers Day to support striking Unifor Local 1541 members who started their strike today.

PSAC-UNE 70369 members, who have strike votes planned for May 6, will likely be joining the line soon and so members came out to support the picket line during their breaks.

Both locals are facing an employer who refuses to take bargaining seriously, with Unifor Local 1541 members rejecting a proposed two-year contract with zero wage increases and holding the line on the employer’s demand to hire uncertified workers to do the work of machinists.

“We are concerned the company is cutting corners and it becomes a safety issue,” said Local 1541 President Steve LaBelle.

“This is a devaluing of Skilled Trades. Our members have the proper skills and certification to do their jobs and want to get back to work when the company addresses their concerns and shows them the respect they deserve.”

Local 1541’s 44 members work as machinists, maintenance workers, machining process specialists, electrical inspectors, mechanics, and lead pourers amongst other positions.

PSAC-UNE members are currently in bargaining and are heading towards a strike vote May 6. They are fighting for fair wage increases to catch up to direct comparators and inflation, as well as benefits, sick leave, flexible work arrangements and workplace safety.

“Today we brought pizza and solidarity. And in about a week, after we hold our strike votes, we’ll be bringing more workers out to the picket line to join the strike. This employer needs to get serious about negotiating fair wages at the bargaining table.,” said Silas.

Best Theratronics develops and manufactures external beam therapy units, self-contained blood irradiators, and cyclotrons for hospitals, medical and research facilities.

The Unifor picket line runs 6:30am – 3pm Monday-Friday at Best Theratronics in Kanata.

With information from Unifor’s press release