May 9, 2013
MP Ryan Cleary, St. John’s South-Mount Pearl today requested the appointment of an independent mediator to help resolve the labour dispute between the St. John’s International Airport Authority and 85 striking workers, members of the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees (UCTE), a component of the Public Service Alliance of Canada from the Honorable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Labour.
“St. John’s is about to enter its busiest travel and tourism season and this matter needs to be resolved for the safety of travelers and for the benefit of the economy of the northeast Avalon, and, indeed, all of Newfoundland and Labrador.” said Cleary from his Ottawa office.
In mid-February a federal mediator (Barney Dobbin) was called in to bring both sides back to the table (the strike began on Sept. 11, 2012), but has been unsuccessful in resolving the dispute.
“We need a fresh face at the table. We need to revitalize a process that has grown stale. We need an independent mediator in this dispute”, said the New Democrat MP.
MP Cleary is recommending a well-respected labour lawyer, Bill Wells.
Wells was instrumental in ending the 18-month job action between Vale (operator of the Voisey’s Bay mine in Labrador) and the United Steelworkers following his appointment as independent mediator in September, 2010 by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.