Mr. Speaker, Radio Nord has asked the federal labour minister to give mediator Jacques Lessard the power to decide the 85 employees' future terms and conditions of employment. What Radio Nord is asking for represents an abuse of power. The minister is not authorized under the Canada Labour Code to impose terms and conditions of employment on the employees of Radio Nord.
In fact, according to the union, it is contrary to the spirit of the code, because section 107 provides at most that the minister may do such things as to him seem likely to maintain or secure industrial peace and to promote conditions favourable to the settlement of industrial differences.
Radio Nord is basically asking that the right to free collective bargaining and, where legitimate, to go on strike to advance their demands be taken away from the employees. In addition, the employer abolished a dozen or so positions during the conciliation process.
The union believes that a negotiated solution is the preferred option for the employees and for the people of Abitibi-Témiscamingue, who complain about the fact that Radio Nord has been cutting back services for several years.