OTTAWA, (Nov. 24, 2016) /CNW/ – The Federal Bridge Corporation Limited (FBCL) continues to push for a negotiated settlement on the work disruption at the Blue Water Bridge. Following the rejection by the Union of the current offer and the release of their Notice of strike last Saturday, FBCL had no other alternative but to mobilize its contingency plans. FBCL managerial and non-union staff are now ensuring operations of the bridge.
FBCL wants to assure the public that so far, Union pressures have had no impact on our commitment to maintain the Bridge open and the fluidity of the traffic flow. (e.g. 11,988 cars and 8,533 trucks crossed the bridge this week last year compared to 11,187 cars and 8,128 trucks this week, which is consistent with the 2.2% decrease in overall traffic between 2015 and 2016).
FBCL maintains that the Union has engaged in a campaign of misinformation to garner support. Despite repeated public comments to the contrary, FBCL is not seeking any major concession or changes to benefits, to maternal/paternal leave policies, to overtime or scheduling policies nor pensions.
FBCL recognizes that a strike is not in the best interest of its employees and their families, but the current 10% wage and benefits increase offer rejected Saturday, was a very generous and comprehensive package. It included a general wage increase, increased shift premiums and additional leave benefits (available at www.federalbridge.ca/work-disruption-at-the-blue-water-bridge-agreed-proposal-final-offer-november-2016).
Although no new negotiations are scheduled, FBCL is open to any call from the Union to continue negotiations and get everyone back to work as soon as possible.
FBCL amalgamated with the Blue Water Bridge Authority in February 2015. The current Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) local 501 contract expired pre-amalgamation in November 2014.