Uni­for re­quests me­di­a­tor for lock­out

The Beacon (Gander) - - Sports -

Ten months into a lock­out of 32 work­ers in Gan­der by Amer­i­can-based em­ployer D-J Com­pos­ites, Uni­for is call­ing on Ad­vanced Ed­u­ca­tion, Skills and Labour Min­is­ter Al Hawkins to ap­point a me­di­a­tor.

“The prov­ince’s labour laws are in­ad­e­quate and need fix­ing, but in the mean­time, the min­is­ter needs to do what he can to help fa­cil­i­tate a set­tle­ment in this dis­pute,” said Lana Payne, Uni­for’s At­lantic re­gional di­rec­tor.

“Our mem­bers have spent 10 long months on a picket line; it’s time for the govern­ment to act.”

Uni­for met with Hawkins a month ago to de­tail the is­sues in the lock­out, in­clud­ing ask­ing him to in­ter­vene.

“This is not a case of the min­is­ter need­ing to re­main neu­tral,” said Payne. “Neu­tral­ity is when both sides play by the rules, and this em­ployer has ig­nored labour laws in this prov­ince, which is why the min­is­ter must ex­er­cise his author­ity.”

D-J Com­pos­ites was found guilty of bar­gain­ing in bad faith in May 2017 by the New­found­land and Labrador Labour Board.

The min­is­ter has the author­ity un­der s. 115(1) of the Labour Re­la­tions Act to ap­point a skilled me­di­a­tor to at­tempt to reach an agree­ment, or re­port back to the min­is­ter on the cause of the im­passe.

Mem­bers of Uni­for Lo­cal 597 have been on the picket line for 303 days.

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