September 15, 2017
Toronto – Unifor members at Brink’s Canada Limited in British Columbia and Ontario have voted to deliver overwhelming strike mandates.
“The physical safety of our members is at the core of these negotiations so there is no question that Unifor is prepared to take any and all necessary action,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.
In Ontario, a total of 800 members at Unifor Local’s 27, 103, 112, 195, 229, 504, 598, 599, 1359, 1106 and 4266 voted 98 per cent in favour of a strike mandate. An additional 300 members represented by Unifor Local 114 in British Columbia voted 95 per cent in favour of strike action if a fair and reasonable settlement is not reached.
The votes send a strong message to Brink’s Canada Limited ahead of scheduled negotiations in BC on September 18-21 and in Ontario on October 2-6. The company risks simultaneous labour disputes in both provinces as workers will enter legal strike positions on October 15 and 16 respectively.
A key dispute involves the implementation of the “all off” crewing model, where the use of two-person crews means the driver and messenger are both forced to disembark from the vehicle at drop-offs and pick-ups, leaving them vulnerable to attack. Unifor has long advocated for the elimination of the “all off” model, instead calling for three-person crews to permit the driver to stay in the vehicle to function as a lookout and protect his fellow crew members.
Other contentious issues include a proposal by Brink’s Canada Limited to switch workers from a successful, well-funded Defined Benefit Pension to a voluntary Defined Contribution plan, this while the company continues to earn massive profits. Workers in British Columbia also lag behind their Ontario counterparts financially despite the fact that many of the corporate contracts are national.
"Our members have had enough, it's time for fairness,”said Dias. “The company needs to come to the table with an offer that protects its workers both physically and financially.”
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing more than 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.
For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-896-3303 (cell).