The Selkirk Journal * Thursday, November 4, 2010 3

Public works strike continues

St. Clements public works employees still on picket line as of early this week as new council considers options

By John Towns After hitting the picket lines on Oct. 25, it's still unclear when the 33 striking public works employees of the RM of St. Clements will head back to work. While the employees - members of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 987 - voted overwhelmingly to strike in late September, they only offi cially walked off the job last week, just two days before the Oct. 27 municipal election after talks broke down late on the night of Oct. 24. The RM had been offering a 2.5 per cent wage increase across the board, along with additional compassionate leave days and funding for uniforms and wage premiums, which was rebuff ed by the union members, who had been asking for a three per cent

Winnipeg man charged for impersonating ESP RCMP commander

By Jennifer Pawluk Thomas David Hanaway (also known as Tom Hanna) was arrested Oct. 29 after East St. Paul RCMP learned he was impersonating the local detachment commander. The 52-year-old Winnipeg man was scheduled to appear in Winnipeg Provincial Court Monday facing charges including two counts of personating a peace offi cer, two counts of breach of recognizance and four counts of breach of probation. East St. Paul RCMP received a report Oct. 13 that someone had identified himself as the detachment commander at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 215 on Henderson Highway. Th e man, Hanaway, returned on Oct. 29, and was arrested by real East St. Paul RCMP detachment members and was subsequently remanded into custody. Hanaway has never been affiliated with the RCMP but appears to have some sort of fascination with law enforcement, said East St. Paul detachment commander Sgt. Mike Van Kats of his impersonator. A search warrant executed at Hanaway's Winnipeg home turned up various police paraphernalia including uniform items. Police continue to investigate. "We're still digging into that," Van Kats said earlier this week of Hanaway's motives. "We've got a lot of work ahead of us." annual wage increase over four years, and had offered to give up the additional leave days for a larger wage increase. According to St. Clements CAO DJ Sigmundson, because the strike action came so close to the election, the municipality's hands were virtually tied in terms of negotiation until the election and establishment of a new council. Now that a new council has been struck, Sigmundson says that the "fi rst order of business" will be to consider where they can go in terms of negotiation. Last week, the union had asked for binding arbitration to resolve the wage dispute, which would obligate both parties to adhere to the recommendations of an impartial mediator. At the time, Sigmundson said it was a deci-

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sion that couldn't be made until a new council was established after Oct. 27. Sigmundson said Monday that newlyelected council would be meeting on Tuesday to discuss their options - particularly that of binding arbitration - with the municipality's lawyer. "We're going to try to get the couple of new councillors up to speed, talk about our options - certainly arbitration is one of them - get some legal advice on how to proceed," he said. "Now that we have some time, we're going to sit down with our lawyer and determine where we can best go from here." Sigmundson could not speculate as to where negotiations would go after that meeting, but added that he hoped workers could be back on the job by the end of the week.

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North of Manitoba Ave. Photo by John Towns Striking workers had surrounded the St. Clements municipal office for over a week by press time on Tuesday.

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