Solidarity for Boilermakers’ lockout

American union IBB president Newton B Jones shaking hands with TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes

TSSA has sent a message of solidarity to our Boilermaker comrades in Canada this week after it emerged that federal covid relief funds were used to employ scab labour in a long running dispute.

Boilermakers' union members at an engineering firm have been locked out for 18 months after they opposed attacks on their pay and working conditions. In a shocking revelation, it now appears that the company – called CESSCO - took government funds meant to help businesses through the pandemic to pay for other workers to undermine the strike action – often referred to as ‘scab labour’. 

In writing to Boilermakers union International President, TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said: “They don’t call it a struggle for nothing, but such outrageous and cynical behaviour from any employer must be challenged and overthrown. We send our full support and solidarity to our brothers and sisters in this dispute.”

The Boilermaker union members have been locked out since 28 June 2020 after they opposed a 10% pay cut and reducing their pensions by up to 50%. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy is similar to the UK’s furlough scheme and was brought in to help pay the wages of employees while companies suffered the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Striking Boilermaker members were not, however, in receipt of wages at this time. They have been supported in part by their union, along with the local community.

Manuel praised the support the striker have received, saying: “It’s good to see that the Boilermakers’ financial power is sustaining these workers through an 18 month lockout.”

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TSSA members attending a rally

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