TORONTO – Unionized engineers employed by CSA Group have issued a statement claiming a contract dispute threatens consumer confidence in the CSA brand.
The 75 safety and compliance engineers, also known as certifiers, have been engaged in contract negotiations with CSA Group for months, stated a June 14 release, and they say they now fear a lockout might be coming. The engineers are members of Local 4559 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents the engineers working out of the organization’s Toronto headquarters.
“Engineers’ knowledge, skill and dedication ensure safety for a vast range of products in Canada and internationally,” said Martin Buchanan, president of CUPE 4559, in a statement. “It’s work we’re proud of and work we love.”
Examples of products carrying the CSA mark are appliances, construction and building products, power generation and energy storage, industrial equipment, information and communications technology, lighting, medical and laboratory equipment, personal protective equipment, and tools and outdoor equipment.
CSA Group’s testing and certification services are a profitable division of the employer, the release states.
“They are being made to feel that the value of our work and contribution to CSA Group is in question,” said CUPE national representative Gobishankar Sooriyakumar.
Among the issues in dispute, the union said, is an employer proposal that would create multi-tier status among CSA Group’s engineers.
“We are convinced that CSA Group’s demands will harm the organization’s ability to recruit and retain the best engineers; that, in turn, will ultimately affect safety standards and what CSA certification stands for,” said Sooriyakumar.
“We are clear that we want to reach a deal at the bargaining table, but it is CUPE 4559’s commitment to excellence and to the next generation of engineers that prevents us from giving in to CSA Group’s demands.”