Union: Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO)
Employer: Federal Government (Treasury Board of Canada)
The 1,350 Foreign Service Officers were on strike for six months, the longest federal public service strike since the introduction of collective bargaining in 1967. PAFSO had been without a contract since July 1, 2011 and in a legal strike position since April 2, 2013.
In July 2013 PAFSO filed a complaint with the Public Service Labour Relations Board (PSLRB) that the Treasury Board failed to bargain in good faith. PAFSO proposed binding arbitration, and the Treasury Board tried to impose six preconditions on the arbitration process which PAFSO could not reasonably accept as they would have predetermined the outcome in the Government’s favour. On September 13, the PSLRB ruled in favour of PAFSO. On September 16, the Government appeals the PSLRB's bad-faith ruling.
On 26 September 2013, a tentative agreement was reached.
Major issue: Equal pay for equal work
Union: Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union (COPE) Local 343
Employer: Porter Airlines (Porter Fixed Based Operations Ltd., a subsidiary), Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport
Union: National Hockey League Players' Association
Employer: National Hockey League
Union: Teamsters Canada Rail Conference
Employer: Canadian Pacific Rail
May 23: CP Rail workers went on strike after giving a 72-hour strike notice on May 19. They voted in favour of a strike on April 27.
May 31: Bill C-39, Restoring Rail Service Act, An Act to provide for the continuation and resumption of rail service operations.
Arbitration Award of Dec. 19, 2012 under the terms of the Restoring Rail Service Act: http://tcrccty.com/December_19_2012.htm
Major issues: pensions, post-retirement benefits, fatigue management and workplace safety.
Union: International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) Local 2323 (largest union at Air Canada representing Line Maintenance Mechanics, Auto Mechanics, Millwrights, Electricians, Inspectors, Technical Writers, Planners, Instructors, Cabin Groomers, Aircraft cleaners, Baggage and Cargo Handlers, Baggage and Cargo Agents, and Weight and Balance Agents)
Employer: Air Canada
March 15: Bill C-33, Protecting Air Service Act, An Act to provide for the continuation and resumption of air service operations.
The IAMAW launched a constitutional challenge in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to Bill C-33. the back-to-work legislation which prevented the Local 2323 from going on strike.
Settled by binding final offer arbitration. For the text of the award see http://iamaw2323.ca/2012/06/17/air-canada-iamaw-final-offer-award/
On August 24, 2012 the IAMAW submitted a complaint to the International Labour Organization (ILO), protesting the Canadian government’s violation of the fundamental right to freedom of association and collective bargaining under international law.
Stevens, A., & Nesbitt, D. (2014). An era of wildcats and sick-outs in Canada? the continued decline of industrial pluralism and the case of Air Canada. Labor Studies Journal, 39(2), 118-139.
Union: National Basketball Players' Association
Employer: National Basketball Association
The 161-day lockout began on July 1, 2011 and ended on December 8, 2011. The players’ union disbanded on Nov. 14 and filed an antitrust lawsuit against the NBA. On November 26, both sides reached a tentative agreement. The deal was ratified on December 8.
Main issues: division of revenue and the structure of the salary cap and luxury tax.
Union: Canadian Union of Public Employess (CUPE) (flight attendants)
Employer: Air Canada
October 10: CUPE rejected a second tentative deal and served strike notice, able to walk off the job October 13. Government declared it would intervene if flight attendants walked off the job, then referred the matter to the Canadian Industrial Relations Board. CUPE was prohibited from striking while the matter was before the Board (even with a legal strike mandate).
CUPE and Air Canada opted for binding arbitration. On October 20 the earlier tentative deal which was rejected by CUPE was imposed.
Union: Canadian Auto Workers' Union (CAW) Local 2002 (all sales and service agents who work at airports, reservation offices and crew scheduling)
Employer: Air Canada
June 14: CAW on strike after 10 weeks of negotiations
June 16: back to work legislation tabled (Bill C-5, Continuing Air Service For Passengers Act, An Act to provide for the resumption and continuation of air service operations)
June 19: CAW announced that it ratified the tentative deal reached with Air Canada on June 16
Significance: The federal government indicated within 16 hours of the strike starting that it would intervene to end it with back-to-work legislation. Before the legislation took effect, the parties reached an agreement, ending the strike three days after it began.
Main issues: wages and pensions.
Image from flickr by Pleuntje
Union: Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW)
Employer: Canada Post
On June 2, 2011 CUPW members began rotating strike actions across Canada beginning with Winnipeg in response to negotiations failing with the employer Canada Post Corporation (CPC). CPC was asking for such concessions as lower wage and smaller pensions for new hires and changes to sick leave and the Short Term disability plan. On June 14, 2011 CPC locked out their workers and the following day the Conservative federal government passed a bill to legislate them back to work (Bill C-6, Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act 2011, An Act to provide for the resumption and continuation of postal services. Recently, there has been a court challenge to this back-to-work legislation filed by CUPW.
There have been three legal strikes by CUPW since 1975. The first was from October 22, 1975 to December 3, 1975. A conciliation board, chaired by Jean Morson, reported in October just prior to the strike. On October 16, 1978 there was a strike ended by the Postal Services Continuation Act on October 19, 1978. A concilliation board was chaired by Louis Courtemanche and subsequently a mediator-arbitrator, Lucien Trembley, was appointed. The negotiations of 1980 did not result in a strike: the Conciliation board was chaired by Germain Jutras. in 1981 a strike took place between June 30, 1981 and August 10, 1981. Pierre Jasmin was the chairman of the Concillatory board and Allan Gold the arbitrator. The arbitration report was not made public. (Source: CIRHR library archives)
*CIRHR library maintains archives on these strikes - Please request from library staff
Steinhoff, K., Bickerton, G. (2012). The Economic Impact of the Canadian Postal Strike and Lockout: Permanent Economic Damage or Temporary Inconvenience?: Prepared for the 20th Conference on Postal and Delivery Economics 2012, Brighton, UK Canadian Union of Postal Workers.
Union: Teamsters Canada Rail Conference
On November 24, 2009 1,700 locomotive engineers, represented by the Teamsters Canada National Rail Conference, served notice of a strike to begin on November 28. The biggest issue was CN Rail’s intention to change working conditions by increasing engineer’s mileage cap from 3,800 miles to 4,300 miles (per month) which would result in an 36-60 work hour increase monthly. Five days later, with the threat of back to work legislation looming Teamsters agreed that they would return to work if the employer dropped the mileage cap increase condition. The two parties were to return to the bargaining table and if one week of negotiations were unsuccessful an arbitrator would be assigned. This proved to be the case. The global economic recession was considered by the arbitrator to be an important factor in this case and most of the terms of the previous collective agreement were carried forward.
"CN Locomotive engineers to receive 6.8 percent wage increase over three years" (2010, Sept 17). Collective Bargaining eNewsletter
Union: Teamsters Canada Rail Conference
Teamsters Rail Conference was the union representing the 340 VIA engineers who were without a contract since 2006. The strike lasted for about 3 days and disrupted thousands of passengers travel plans.
Kalinowski, T. & Morrow, A. (Jul. 24 2009). "VIA engineers on strike". The Toronto Star.
In 2005 over 5,500 CBC employees were locked out by management over future hiring practices. This lockout lasted from August 15 to October 11. The employees are represented by the Canadian Media Guild. The lockout affected programming and resulted in cut backs.
Hughes, L. (2005, Nov. 3). "What was at stake in the CBC lockout?" Canadian Dimension.
Vlessing, E. (2005). Story of the year - the CBC LockoutPubcaster deals with fallout from labor conflict. Playback : Canadas Broadcast and Production Journal, (08362114), 27-27.
The 2004-2005 NHL lockout lasted 310 days and began after the collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and NHL Players Association expired. The lockout resulted in the entire season being cancelled. The deal reached included a salary cap and a 24 percent salary rollback. The union wanted to preserve a free market for salaries.
Union: Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) Local 70397
Employer: National Gallery of Canada
A two-month strike which started May 10. Two hundred administrative and technical staff members have been without a contract for about a year. The museum offered a five-year contract that entailed a 2.25 percent wage increase in each of the first four years, with salary renegotiation in the fifth year. The strikers wanted a three-year deal with 3 percent raises in the first and third years and 2.5 percent raises in the second.
The PSAC bargaining team unanimously recommended the acceptance of tentative three-year collective agreement reached on July 10, which the majority of members ratified on July 13. The agreement, which will expire on June 30, 2003, provides for an average increase of up to 10.25% for the duration of the collective agreement. This includes a 2.25% wage increase retroactive to July 1, 2000, as well as an additional increment at all levels and the elimination of an increment at the bottom level (this represents a 2% increase); a 2.5% increase on July 1, 2001 and the addition of a partial increment (a 0.5% increase) at all levels; and, a 3% increase on July 1, 2002. A $500 signing bonus will be paid to all workers.
The Gallery agreed to withdraw all civil suits launched against its staff during the strike and a return to work protocol was negotiated to the satisfaction of the parties.
Lasting over 200 days this work stoppage led to the cancellation of the 1995 World Series. The Major League Baseball Players Association went on strike in reaction to proposed salary caps by owners.
Bolton, R. M. (2000). Study of the implications of the 1994 major league baseball players strike and an analysis of the marketing strategies used by major league baseball and four teams in response to the strike. Microform Publications Bulletin: Health, Physical Education and Recreation.Exercise and Sport Sciences, 13(1)
Mellor, S., Paley, M. J., & Holzworth, R. J. (1999). Fans judgments about the 1994–95 major league baseball players strike. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 34(1), 59-87.
On October 14, 1976 one million workers across Canada went on strike as a show of national solidarity against the government's implementation of wage controls.
Dust, M. (1999). Day of protest October 14 1976: An expression of solidarity.
Union: Postal Workers Brotherhood (PWB)
This strike was triggered when Canadian postal workers asked for a $660 wage increase; instead the Liberal government had offered the postal workers an increase of $360 if they handle the mail and $300 increase if they deliver the mail. The Liberal government's offered was based upon a study of postal wages, which they claimed at the time to be "impartial", despite other sources saying that their salary range was very low for such a labour intensive job. On top of having a low wage, the workers were also striking against their bad working conditions, as the government had been neglecting the postal system. The strike began without authorization of the PWB and local groups took to action, as they became more and more dissatisfied. On the July 22, 1965 Hamilton, Montreal, Vancouver and Oshawa went on strike. The next day, 35 other cities including Toronto went on strike the next day, making over 10,000 people on an illegal strike. One of the biggest things that came out of this strike was that the Public Sector Staff Relations Act was passed on March 13, 196, which allowed civil servants to have collective bargaining rights.
Campbell, R. M. (1994). The politics of the Post: Canada's postal system from public service to privatization. Peterborough, Ont: Broadview Press.
During the decade of the 1929 to 1939 often characterized as the Great Depression men who were in work camps in British Columbia began to unionize and planned the trek to Ottaw to protest their living and work conditions. Despite burgeoning public support, the march across Canada which was headed to Ottawa was halted in Regina by police.
CBC A People's History On-to-Ottawa Trek
Liversedge, R., & In Howard, V. (1973). Recollections of the On to Ottawa trek. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart.
Howard, V. (1985). "We were the salt of the earth!": A narrative of the On-to-Ottawa trek and the Regina riot. Regina: Canadian Plains Research Center, University of Regina.
Deimert, E. (2009). Pubs, pulpits & prairie fires. Halifax, N.S. : Roseway Pub.
Diamond, S., Women's Labour History Project., & On to Ottawa Historical Society. (1992). On to Ottawa! [videorecording]. Vancouver: Women's Labour History Project. - Available through U of T libraries
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