Latest News from Monterey

Latest News from Monterey

CALGARY — Locked-out employees of Monterey Place seniors facility in northeast Calgary were disappointed again yesterday by the employer’s cynical stalling tactics at the bargaining table.

After 90 days on the picket line, the two sides of the dispute met this week in the hope of getting on with serious collective bargaining. But once again, the employer’s representatives simply delayed the process.

“They emailed us a proposal in August, but then waited more than a month to meet with us to go over the details,” said John Wevers, staff negotiator with the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, which represents the 90 workers. “When we finally met, all they had to say to us is, ‘we’ll get back to you.’”

Representatives of Monterey’s owner, Triple A Living Communities, would not say when that would be, and refused to set any dates for the next meeting.

“This company receives huge government subsidies to pay industry-standard wages,” said AUPE President Guy Smith. “Yet these workers continue to be paid well below that level while Triple A’s owners pocket the difference. It’s an outrage that Health Minister Fred Horne allows this to go on.”

Smith added: “Many of these hard-working women are newcomers to Canada, and they’re being taken advantage of. In Alberta you pay people what they’re worth, not the least you can get away with. It’s time for our government to hold these millionaire owners accountable for the taxpayer hand-outs they receive.”

Monterey employees are currently paid up to 27 per cent below the industry standard. Triple A’s latest offer would put them even further behind. At the end of the proposed contract, some employees would be paid 51 per cent less than the standard.

Before the lockout even started, AUPE proposed binding arbitration by a neutral third party to break the impasse, but so far Triple A president Arif Amlani has refused.

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