Federation of Labour urges airport authority get back to negotiations with striking workers

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Lana Payne — File photo

Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour President Lana Payne says the St. John’s Airport Authority should return to the bargaining table to negotiate an agreement with striking workers at the airport, instead of negotiating in public and through the media.

A news release notes the workers, including maintenance, firefighters and support staff, have been on strike since Sept. 11 — 12 weeks ago today. The workers have been without a collective agreement since 2009 and without a pay raise since 2008.

Payne said the concessions being demanded by the authority and their chief negotiator, Denis Mahoney, are an attempt to sell-out the next generation of workers.

The demands for two-tiering and contracting out will have a negative impact on new hires and the future workforce, she said.

“Employers’ demands for two-tiered wages and benefits are like a virus that is poisoning our workplaces,” Payne said.

“Employers should be looking at ways to attract young workers to their workplaces. Two-tiered wages and benefits won’t do that. Employers should be looking at creative ways to retain the dedicated workers they have.”

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