Laval, May 16, 2016 — Sandoz workers in Boucherville overwhelmingly rejected the employer’s offer and 91% voted in favour of a strike mandate at Saturday’s union meeting.
The work stoppage will take place when deemed appropriate.
At issue are wages and failure to respect seniority when assigning shifts and providing worker training. The collective agreement expired on December 31, 2015.
The members of Teamsters Local Union 1999 working at the drug manufacturer are mainly unhappy about the many extra duties imposed on them due to increasingly complex and stringent standards issued by Canadian and U.S. regulators.
Climate of fear
Government requirements and a poor work atmosphere are at the root of the repeated worker sanctions. A climate of fear has therefore developed in the plant, even prompting workers from other departments who until recently were not unionized to join the Teamsters.
“Our members do vital work in order to ensure the health of hospital patients,” said Teamsters Union representative Jean-François Pelletier. “They deserve respect and recognition from their employer for their professionalism in working for the common good.”
The workers at Sandoz are also concerned about the high turnover in the plant’s senior management and supervisors.
“The insecurity caused by these frequent changes affects all levels of the company,” added the representative from Local Union 1999. “The work atmosphere won’t improve until Sandoz management stabilizes the situation, and they need to do this right now, at the bargaining table.”
The plant’s 267 workers are therefore demanding that their employer give them the recognition they deserve, and respect their seniority.
“We’re ready to return to the bargaining table provided the employer’s representatives are prepared to work with us to find acceptable solutions,” concluded Jean-François Pelletier.
Inaugurated under the corporate name Sabex in 1980, the Sandoz plant manufactures injectable medicines such as morphine for use in ambulances and operating rooms.
The Teamsters represents 120,000 members in Canada in all trades. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.
Stéphane Lacroix, Public Relations Director
Cell: 514 609-5101