Employees to return to work to rule: Unifor
Published Monday, October 7, 2019 10:54AM CST
Last Updated Monday, October 7, 2019 4:22PM CST
Update: SaskTel said union memebers will no be allowed to return to work to rule. Click here for that story.
They don’t have a new contract, but 5,000 unionized crown corporation workers will be back at work on Tuesday.
After walking off the job on Friday, Unifor announced on Monday morning that they would be returning to work to rule on Tuesday, meaning the unionized workers will be doing the minimum requirements of their jobs.
“It’s just something that they’re not expecting,” Chris MacDonald with Unifor said. “They weren’t expecting us to shut down their call centres today, they weren’t expecting us to work tomorrow – we have the right to return to work – and we’ll make our next decisions after that.”
On Monday, hundreds of picketers blocked the parking lot at the SaskTel call centres in Regina and Saskatoon to stop managers from heading to work and disrupting services for close to five hours.
MacDonald says they want to keep the government on their toes as they wait to head back to the bargaining table.
“The Premier left the country today, headed out of town, so folks are going to go back to work and we’ll decide what our next move is after that,” MacDonald said.
Contract negotiations between the union and crown corporations reached an impasse last week and the workers walked off the job on Friday.
The Government has offered a five per cent increase over the next five years, but that includes no increase in the first two years.
The union wants a cost of living increase on par with the 2.3 per cent increase received by MLAs this year.
“It will be interesting to see if the company is willing to do what it takes to keep us there and they’ll realize how important we are to keeping everything running smoothly, that’s the ideal situation, hopefully they don’t lock us out or anything and we can continue to do our jobs, move on with the bargaining and get a fair agreement,” Chelsea Miller, a unionized worker, said.
Unifor gave no indication how long they would be working to rule. There is also the possibility that the Crowns lockout the workers, however, that would require a 48-hour notice (or 72-hour notice for SaskTel employees) from the employers.