Concerns for elevator safety reinforce the need for anti-scab legislation
NDP Labour Critic Dale Kirby (MHA, St. John’s North) is renewing his party’s call for Government to table anti-scab legislation when the House of Assembly reopens in March.
Nineteen striking members of the International Union of Elevator Constructors have been without a contract since July. Following a conciliation process the workers began their strike on December 2, 2011.
“The last time these certified elevator workers were on strike, they stayed on the picket line for 17 months,” said Kirby. “We don’t want to see this happen again, but because this government chooses to allow scab labour in our province, it is a possibility.”
Kirby is concerned that the workers who are temporarily responsible for constructing and maintaining elevators may not be as qualified as the striking workers. “It is unclear whether the scab workers have industry recognized certifications. The striking workers all have national certification; they are trained specifically to work on elevators.”
Kirby stated that government is doing a disservice to workers in our province by allowing scab labour. “The union is willing to negotiate. I hope negotiations start again soon so a new contract can be agreed upon and these workers can get back to doing what they are trained to do,” Kirby said.