Essential Services Council Mediation efforts between the STM and the Syndicat du transport de Montréal have failed
Montreal, May 15, 2007 - The mediation session held today between the STM and the Syndicat du transport de Montréal (CSN – maintenance workers) has regrettably failed. As such, the Essential Services Council has convened both parties tomorrow at 10 am to hear each side’s position regarding which services will be provided should a strike be called next May 22. Based on its 2003 experience, the STM will present the Council with arguments to keep the métro running during certain periods on Saturday and Sunday. Indeed, in 2003, bus and métro services were provided Monday to Friday, during morning and afternoon rush hour, as well as late evenings. On weekends, the Council had only allowed bus services to operate during given periods.
At the same time, negotiation sessions with the conciliator are ongoing, with the Syndicat du transport de Montréal upholding its monetary demands, which still stand close to $60 million. These appear unreasonable to us, as the union knows very well that the STM had not planned on any pay increases for 2007, in light of a financial situation that already anticipates a $22 million shortfall. The STM does not have the capacity to pay for increased wages. Even with a wage freeze for 2007, the maintenance workers’ remuneration is well within market standards, while their employee benefits and pension fund are above-average. Any strike action at this time appears premature, and it is unfortunate that the union would hold the population hostage for demands that can hardly be justified considering the STM’s financial situation.