Labour Council Accuses Ottawa Mayor of Trying to Undermine Talks

Release Date: 
December 10, 2008

OTTAWA – The Ottawa and District Labour Council has today sent a letter to Ottawa Mayor Larry O’Brien accusing him or those in his office of attempting to undermine any chance of the parties reaching an agreement and/or returning to the table. The letter also asks the mayor to leave the negotiations to those “with that ability.”

“What we know is that the parties agreed yesterday to bring in a Federal mediator and continue negotiations,” said Sean McKenny, president of the Ottawa and District Labour Council. “What we also know is that the parties agreed to keep the negotiations and the fact that discussions were continuing through a mediator quiet and confidential because of the sensitivities and the hopes that a strike could be averted and an agreement could still be reached,” he added.

The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 279, OC Transpo drivers and mechanics, went on strike at 12:01am earlier today.

“We unquestionably heard the mayor several times yesterday including on a local radio station stating that a Federal mediator had been brought in and that negotiations were continuing. ATU local 279, respecting the confidentiality agreement reached just prior, responded “no comment” or that discussions were not continuing when asked by the media to react to the Mayor’s claim,” said McKenny.

The letter also asks the Mayor to stop attempting to negotiate in the press.

The Ottawa and District Labour Council (ODLC) has been the voice of working people in the Ottawa area since 1872. The ODLC currently represents 90 local unions with a combined membership of close to 45,000 working men and women and is the largest democratic and popular organization in the Ottawa area.

Contacts:
Sean McKenny 613-862-5150
Ottawa & District Labour Council 613-233-7820