The Fightback at Bristol Aerospace
May 25, 2011, 9:05 AM EST
CAW Local 3005 retirees have repeatedly raised their concerns with Conservative MP Steven Fletcher over the attack on their benefits during the current round of contract talks with Bristol Aerospace in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
CAW Local 3005 members at Bristol have been on strike at the aircraft manufacturing facility since April 1, fighting company demands for cutbacks on cost of living adjustments and retiree benefits.
On May 4, a protest was held to call for the resumption of stalled negotiations between Bristol and CAW Local 3005. More than 200 participants joined forces in an overwhelming display of solidarity on the picket line. The rally included participants from the CAW Local 3005 Retirees Chapter, CAW Locals 100, 101, 144, 468, 3003 and 3007; members of the Winnipeg Local from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers; CUPE Local 500 and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 832.
Those in attendance included CAW Area Director Tom Murphy, Manitoba Federation of Labour President Kevin Rebeck, MFL Executive Director Sylvia Farley, Former MFL President Rob Hilliard, Winnipeg Labour Council President David Sauer, CUPW Winnipeg Local President Bob Tyre, Executive Director Bob Linsdell of the Telecommunications Employees Association of Manitoba Inc. Local 161 and CEP Local 830 President Maurice Thiessen.
CAW Area Director Tom Murphy, MFL President Kevin Rebeck, Local 3005 President Branko Maligec and Plant Chairperson Dan Davis all expressed gratitude and heart-felt thanks to all those in attendance.
On April 21, John Marlow, President of CAW Local 3005 Retirees Chapter, and the local's retirees presented a petition to Conservative MP Steven Fletcher's campaign manager. Although the retirees had occupied Fletcher's office for approximately three hours, the MP did not show up to address these concerns.
Since the original demonstration at Fletcher's office, Local 3005 Retirees have returned to the office twice more and he has refused to speak to them.