Strike votes take place across the country

Health workers, airline employees, postal workers negotiating new agreements
||Last Updated: 05/25/2011

Capital District Health Authority

Thousands of Halifax nurses have voted 89 per cent in favour of walking out if an agreement can’t be made with their employers.

The members of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees’ Union, Local 97 rejected an offer with a two per cent wage increase over the last two years of the agreement.

The union is asking a conciliator to file a report, which would trigger a two-week countdown to a possible strike.

Saskatchewan Cancer Agency

Saskatchewan cancer centre workers will finish a strike vote today. The Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union is seeking a strike mandate from its members after only being offered a 5.5 per cent wage increase over three years. The union says that the offer needs to be better or risk losing its skilled professionals to neighbouring provinces. They have been without a contract since December 2009.

Air Canada

Negotiations for a new contract for Air Canada customer service and sales workers resumed this week after the union voted 98.25 per cent in favour of striking. The Canadian Auto Workers has set a strike deadline of midnight on June 13, but is optimistic that a deal can be reached before then.

These 3,800 Air Canada workers have been without a contract since Feb. 28, 2011 and are demanding improvements to wages and the pension plan in this new contract.

Air Canada is in talks with all five of its labour unions as all of its collective agreements expire this year.

Canada Post

Canada Post workers need only provide 72-hours’ notice before walking off the job. Last week, the union turned down Canada Post’s offer of a wage increase of 1.75 per cent in each of the first two years, a 1.9 per cent increase in the third and a 2.0 per cent increase in the final year. Instead, they counter-offered with a 3.5 per cent increase in each year of a three and one-half year contract. Canada Post says that this will increase labour costs by $1.4 billion.

There was worry that a postal strike would begin today, but both parties have returned to the bargaining table in hopes of reaching an agreement.

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