About 30 members of Local 10004 of the Union of Safety and Justice Employees (USJE) gathered in front of the offices of their employer, C Division of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Montreal, to voice their dissatisfaction with the withdrawal of their long-standing physical union office.
The union office had been utilized by USJE Local 10004 for over 15 years. The decision to remove the union office was made by the employer without any apparent cause, following the conclusion of the historic strike by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) two weeks ago, according to the union.
The employer has set a deadline of July 31, 2023, for the removal of the union office. This abrupt decision has raised concerns about its potential negative impact on labour relations and the smooth functioning of operations within the workplace.
One significant aspect highlighted by the protesters is the need for a secure space where members, particularly women, can discuss sensitive workplace matters and seek support. This need is underscored by recent survey findings that revealed 27% of RCMP employees expressed disagreement with being able to initiate a formal redress process, such as filing a grievance, complaint, or right of appeal, without fear of reprisal.
Ms. Samson, Quebec Regional Vice-President of USJE, called on RCMP management to reconsider their decision, emphasizing that healthy labour relations are essential for both the well-being of the members and the expected performance levels set by the employer.
The sudden removal of the union office is seen as a fundamental lack of respect, forcing the members into a state of uncertainty regarding their labour rights, which is deemed unacceptable, the union said.
USJE represents nearly 18,000 federal public safety and justice employees across 18 federal departments throughout Canada. The union members play a vital role in safeguarding the safety, privacy, and security of Canadians while providing crucial access to information, justice, and human rights.