ONTC Hiring freeze causing hardship: Union – by PJ Wilson (North Bay Nugget – August 14, 2012)


The provincial government is trying to cause the ONTC to malfunction as it continues with its divestment plan, according to the president of CAW Local 103.
“They are not allowing us to replace people who are leaving,” says Brian Kelly. “There’s a hiring freeze in place, so when someone retires or quits, we can’t replace them.”
The province announced in March its plan to divest the Crown corporation and, since then, Kelly said, has been putting roadblocks in place to its continued viability. The hiring freeze, he said, is causing difficulties in all sectors of the operation. Hiring, he said, is taking place on a case-by-case basis.
“What’s happening is the younger people are quite concerned about their future, the skilled trades people, so they are taking whatever comes their way,” Kelly said.He said particularly hard hit are Ontera and the shop areas. Operations in Cochrane are also feeling the pain, as employees there pull up stakes for jobs at the Detour Lake mining complex. 
The departure of employees — he’s not sure exactly how many have left since the announcement — is noticeable.
He said one vice-president left the Crown corporation recently, noting he was “a younger guy,” while senior managers and longtime employees are waiting to see what happens.
Minister of Northern Development Rick Bartolucci has said it is “business as usual” at the Crown corporation while the divestment proceeds, but that’s not the case, Kelly said.
He said the union has been trying to meet with Bartolucci and Premier Dalton McGuinty since the announcement was made, but “they refuse to meet with us. The only time we’ve talked” with Bartolucci, he said, is through the media.
“It’s sad that the minister in charge of this is refusing to meet with us.”
For the rest of this article, please go to the North Bay Nugget website: http://www.nugget.ca/2012/08/14/hiring-freeze-causing-hardship-union

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