Strike Looms At Jasper Place

Posted on Thursday, April 20, 2017 16:19 PM

There are labour problems at a city run seniors' facility. 

A union official confirms that a strike is looming at Jasper Place where 36 members of Unifor remain without a contract after six months of bargaining. 

Kari Jefford says a conciliator has been brought in to try and bridge the gap between the two sides, failing that Jefford says the union will start the process that could eventually lead to a strike. 

The members affected by the talks are mostly employed as support services workers; there's also a counsellor and a recreation specialist. (File photo)

Possible strike looms at Jasper Place Seniors' Apartments

THUNDER BAY, ON, April 20, 2017 /CNW/ - Thirty-six Unifor members at a municipally-run seniors' assisted living facility in Thunder Bay are preparing to take strike action.

"It's unfortunate that it has come to this, but the employer has left us no alternative," said Kari Jefford, President of Unifor Local 229. "We have been negotiating for about six months and put a fair offer to the city that should have led to an agreement, but they refused to respond or put any offer forward, and the union cannot bargain with itself."

To help bring a resolution, a meeting with a provincial conciliator is scheduled for Monday, April 24. Failing a response from the employer, Unifor will request a 'no board report' which will begin the process of putting the workers in a legal strike position. The members at Jasper Place are mostly employed as support services workers along with a tenant counsellor and a recreationist.

"Our proposal to the city would have seen these members get to the median in terms of what workers in the long-term care sector make compared to other municipalities," said Andy Savela, Unifor Director of Health Care. "If you look at recent negotiations between the city of Thunder Bay and its labour groups you realize something is wrong. This employer is not negotiating; they're frustrating the process."

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers, including more than 28,000 in health care. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged.