David Wilson, the CWA Canada staff representative
who was involved in the hearings that wrapped up in May,
says everyone was astonished that arbitrator Jean Pierre
Lussier ruled in favour of the employer.
Noting that Lussier's ruling contains contradictory statements,
Wilson says the MNG considers the decision "unreasonable" and
will seek a judicial review.
Wilson says they were puzzled that
Lussier found there "was
not a meeting of the minds" when the jurisdiction clauses
were introduced in 1981.
MNG president Mona Leroux says she's "as
puzzled as everyone else with Lussier's ruling."
The union has six months to submit written affidavits
The original grievance was filed in 2007 when Canwest arranged
for its non-unionized plant in Hamilton to assemble some
of the Gazette's pages. The practise grew to encompass entire
sections of the newspaper and then spread to other departments,
with the MNG grieving every offence.
From the outset of bargaining in
2008, management insisted on changing the interpretation
of the jurisdiction clause. As a result, two bargaining
units at The Gazette — Editorial
and Reader Sales and Service (RSS) — have been without
a contract since June 2008.
Even while talks were ongoing that summer, 45 RSS employees
were laid off and their work outsourced to Winnipeg. Then
editorial department and business office functions were transferred
outside the province.
The Guild maintains that contracts
for both bargaining units "clearly
prohibit the assignment of such work either to employees
of the same employer not covered by our collective agreement
or to employees outside The Gazette."
The Gazette, which is under new ownership, continues to
outsource work, including that of Retail and Classified advertising