1,000 MTS workers vote to strike
About one-third of Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS) employees have voted to strike if current negotiations with the telecommunications company don’t go well, according to the union representing them.
More than 1,000 of the 1,250 TEAM IFPTE Local 161 members voted Friday to strike on July 16 if the ongoing negotiations continue to go poorly, said union executive director Bob Linsdell. Of those who voted, 82.8 per cent gave the union a strike mandate. The employees represented include managers, sales staff and other professionals.
MTS is asking for a reduction in personal days, no personal days for new employees, and a wage increase of less than the rate of inflation, said Linsdell.
“The wage thing … it was like a slap in the face,” said Linsdell, adding during the last round of negotiations, union members agreed to a contract that saw only a two per cent wage increase over three years. “We work hard for MTS… and would like to be respected for it and appreciated.”
The employees say their demands include a fair wage increase at the same as the rate of inflation, a clearer definition of overtime and maximum hours, the option of compressed work weeks and a vision care plan.