In a major demonstration of union solidarity, the Communications Energy and Paperworkers Union (CEP) is ensuring that no work normally done by striking International Association of Machinists (IAM) members will be performed at the Suncor oil sands site in Fort McMurray for the duration of the IAM labour dispute with Finning.
"This is a huge demonstration of solidarity," says AFL President Gil McGowan. "It sends a clear message to Finning that working people and unions are solidly behind the striking members of IAM Lodge 99. It also shows that labour can take effective action over and above normal picket line support."
Over 1000 IAM members in Alberta and the Northwest Territories went on strike against Finning on October 20, 2005. The union says that the major issue is job protection from contracting-out. IAM Lodge 99 has already lost hundreds of members due to contracting-out, and the union is demanding job protection for its members.
"I believe that Finning should reconsider their bargaining position in this dispute," says McGowan. "The public are very sympathetic to workers fighting for job security these days, and a long, drawn dispute could have a major impact on the company's ability to meet their customers' needs."
"Finally, I would like to commend CEP Local 707," says McGowan. "I know they had to negotiate this deal under tense circumstances. To put the interests of other workers and unions ahead of your own is really the highest ethical action any union can take."
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For more information contact:
Gil McGowan, AFL President at 780.915-4599 (cell) or 780.483-3021 (wk)