Security Guards Picket Commissionaires Hamilton

HAMILTON, Ontario, Sept. 05, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Security guards at federal government buildings in Hamilton, Ontario have commenced an information picket at the Federal Tax Court and the Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre on Bay Street.  

In addition to protecting the Recruiting Centre, Commissionaires also secure the parole and probation offices. The guards are protesting the unfair treatment they are receiving as employees of the Commissionaires, a not-for-profit organization founded on the principle of "meaningful employment for Canadian Veterans."

"Since its foundation, however, the Hamilton Branch for the Corps of Commissionaires has lost their way,” says Jeff Ketelaars, Secretary-Treasurer of UFCW Local 333. "These guards are highly trained to work in pivotal roles and augment public policing services. They risk their lives every day by protecting federal government employees and the public. Yet the company doesn't feel they are entitled to benefits,” he adds.

The guards are hoping the information picket will evade a full work stoppage on September 12, 2019. They say they do not want to have to strike, but the federal government and the Corps are not playing fair. 

Commissionaires Hamilton remains unwilling to discuss any improvements to wages or benefits, and their chief negotiator has cited a lack of funding from the federal government as the reason for holding out. But UFCW currently represents hundreds of Commissionaires security guards across Ontario who enjoy union benefits and better working conditions.

According to Geoff Gosselin, "Commissionaires across Ontario continue to sign union cards with UFCW organizers. They are ready to join the fight against their employer and the federal government for fair wages and benefits."

Geoff Gosselin
UFCW Canada Local 333