It looks like that PM Trudeau has fallen behind in winning the hearts of public employees after making the promise to increase wages and not standing up to it. Workers form Canadian Hearing Society (CHS) in Hamilton walked out on their jobs when contract talks were halted.
The staff members of Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 2073 joined outside the picket line on Friday, 10th March and held a strike. According to the national representative of the union, the cause of the problem was the sick leave benefits and wages that had all the employees excited. However, since the negotiations were halted, the employees had gone straight to strike.
This comes just after the Canadian Union of Public Employees voiced the same problems that they were experiencing difficulties. Some public sectors got their contracts, while some are still waiting for their turn.
Barbara Wilker-Frey said that the employees have been doing their job for four years and with no collective agreement, this was bound to happen. There hasn’t been any improvement in the working conditions or wages. Employees fear that they might be forever stuck in a place that has no safety net.
According to CHS, they have been working since mid January to make the necessary changes but with providing services to 3,600 deaf clients, it is quite difficult to manage everything at the same time and make sure that the clients and employees are satisfied.
Vice President Gary Malkowski of CHS apologized on behalf of his employees and said that he and his team were working hard on getting the contract ready. Apart from employees, the 227 strikers included literacy instructors, speech language pathologists, counselors, program coordinators, audiologists and interpreters. Barbara Wilker-Frey said that the workers wanted the matter resolved by Sunday and were hopeful that things will work in their favor. The Vice President has promised that he will put a reasonable deal on the table by the weekend.
There are a total of 24 offices of CHS across Ontario. Offices in Toronto, Ontario, Hamilton, London, Mississauga, Hamilton, Sudbury, Ottawa and Windsor are still open but are run by the management.