Toronto – Almost 200 safety inspectors with OPSEU/SEFPO Local 546 at the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) have voted 89 per cent in favour of giving their bargaining team a strike mandate.
The members work in a number of safety areas and are negotiating a first contract after joining OPSEU/SEFPO last year. A lack of co-operation and movement from the TSSA led the bargaining team to seek a strike mandate from members.
“The employer has demonstrated a consistent unwillingness to bargain and total disrespect for the process,” said OPSEU/SEFPO President JP Hornick. “In the face of unrelenting stonewalling, the union had to ask for a strike mandate – and they got an overwhelming one.”
“When you receive this level of backing from your members, the employer has to sit up and pay attention – and bring a new attitude to the table,” she added. “It’s time to get down to business and negotiate in good faith.”
Among their many responsibilities, Local 546 members inspect elevators, ski lifts, food trucks and amusement park rides. They inspect fuel burning equipment, boilers and pressure vessels, and inspect gas stations, propane dispensing stations and nuclear power plants.
A strike mandate allows the bargaining team to call a strike, if needed. OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer Laurie Nancekivell said the result of the vote is a real show of strength.
“First contract negotiations are often tough, especially with intransigent employers,” said Nancekivell. “With the solidarity that TSSA employees have shown, this employer will have to finally accept the will of members – not only to join a union but to come out with a fair contract.
“I congratulate these members for the solidarity they’ve demonstrated with their team – and their continued willingness to put the future in their hands,” added Nancekivell.
“These conscientious and highly skilled professionals ensure our critical infrastructure continues to be safe for public use,” Hornick said. “These jobs carry a huge amount of responsibility, and those who do them must be compensated appropriately.”
The next scheduled conciliation date is May 26.
For more information: Nick Mustari, OPSEU/SEFPO Negotiator, 416-443-8888, ext. 3656; firstname.lastname@example.org