Media Release – January 29, 2015 

For Immediate Release

Unionized workers at the Fort Smith Housing Authority have given notice of strike action to begin Monday, February 2.

PSAC members of Union of Northern Workers (UNW) Local 2 will be on the picket line Monday morning unless a deal to avert the strike is reached beforehand.  Workers unanimously supported strike action in a vote taken December 11.  Conciliation following the strike vote failed to produce an agreement.

Negotiators from the Public Service Alliance of Canada have been in contract talks for more than six months, with the employer refusing to make a reasonable contract offer.  Members are insisting upon a fair wage that meets the cost of living, and fighting for fair changes to their allowances which would ultimately benefit the Fort Smith community as a whole.

“Our negotiator is ready and eager to get back to the table and work out a fair deal,” says Jack Bourassa, Regional Executive Vice President North for the Public Service Alliance of Canada. “Our two sides aren’t far apart and there’s still time to resolve our differences before we’re forced to set up a picket line.”

“The Members are dedicated to serving the Housing Authority tenants of Fort Smith, but the time has come to make this employer agree to a reasonable settlement,” says UNW President Todd Parsons. “A unanimous strike vote and the members’ decision to go to full withdrawal of services prove their unity and determination.”

Local 2 members are setting up their strike headquarters this weekend opposite the Housing Authority offices and preparing to mount a full picket line Monday morning.

The eight staff of the Fort Smith Housing Authority include carpenters, plumbers, painters and other front-line workers who manage and maintain approximately 150 GNWT-owned housing units in Fort Smith.
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For more information, please contact:

Jack Bourassa
Regional Executive Vice President for the North
Public Service Alliance of Canada
Office: 867-669-0991
Cell: 867-444-0846

Todd Parsons
Union of Northern Workers
Office: 867-873-5668