Museum strikers call for federal intervention

After 71 days on strike, unionized workers at the Canadian War andCivilizations museums are now calling on federal politicians tointervene in the dispute.

After 71 days on strike, unionized workers at the Canadian War and Civilizations museums are now calling on federal politicians to intervene in the dispute.

The 420 members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada have been on strike since Sept. 21. On Nov. 26, they rejected a final contract offer from the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation by a margin of 96 per cent.

Yesterday, they set up their pickets on Parliament Hill to press the issue.

“After 11 weeks of being on strike, we’re no further ahead than we were at the beginning and management isn’t willing to negotiate,” said Eric Pallotta, a project manager at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. “The only thing that will put an end to this is if the government pressures the museum to settle.”

Pallotta said the union has requested arbitration, but so far, the museum corporation has rejected that option.

Since the museum corporation is a Crown corporation, the government cannot impose binding arbitration without permission from both parties.

CMCC vice-president of public affairs Chantal Schryer said the museum is still hoping for a negotiated settlement, but they are reassessing their options following the union’s rejection of the final offer.

The main stumbling blocks in the dispute are over job security and contracting out.

Schryer said the museum made some concessions in both those areas in the final offer.

“It was not exactly what they wanted but addressed most of the key issues,” she said. “We’re hoping they would meet us halfway. Obviously that was not achieved.”

 
 
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