The Canada Association of Professional Employees (CAPE) strongly condemns the arrest of Alex Silas, Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) regional executive vice-president for the National Capital Region, by Ottawa Police. Silas was arrested yesterday morning at a picket line of striking workers at Non-Public Funds (NPF), fellow members of the federal public sector.
“This is an attack on the political expression of workers and on the rights of all trade unions to free and fair collective bargaining,” said CAPE President Nathan Prier. “CAPE stands firmly behind our fellow federal public sector union in their fight for justice and a fair deal for members.”
The Supreme Court of Canada has held that unions have a constitutional right to strike (Saskatchewan Federation of Labour v. Saskatchewan) which must be protected to ensure free and fair collective bargaining.
Despite the critical work they do, these workers are still some of the lowest paid workers in the federal public sector, earning drastically lower wages than those doing the same work in other federal agencies. For too long, they have been denied decent wage increases and suffered from inconsistent pay grids.
Nearly 500 NPF workers who provide critical support services to Canadian Forces members, their families, and veterans in Ottawa, Petawawa, Kingston, Valcartier, Montreal-St. Jean, and Bagotville are currently on strike for fair wages, equal pay for equal work, and better job security.
CAPE stands firmly with striking NPF workers and PSAC and calls on Minister of National Defence Bill Blair and Treasury Board President Anita Anand to tell their negotiators to agree to PSAC’s demands and reach a fair deal that respects workers’ needs.
CAPE encourages its members to:
- Send a message to the government to table a fair offer for striking NPF workers
- Join and support NPF picket lines near them
- Call Ian Poulter, CEO of Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services, and demand that he table a fair offer for striking NPF workers: 613-996-3111