New digital ads from Unifor and PSAC target Best Theratronics to bargain a fair deal

A billboard on the roadside

June 19, 2024


Unifor and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) have launched a series of digital billboard ads directed at Best Theratronics in Kanata, Ont., to treat their workers with respect and get back to the bargaining table with a fair deal.

“This company has ignored our members’ concerns about workplace safety by use of scab labour and continue to have the nerve of proposing a two-year contract, with zero wage increases,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne.

“These billboards, with our blunt message to treat their workers fairly, is something that Best Theratronics and its owner Krishnan Suthanthiran, cannot ignore.”

The billboard directly faces the Best Theratronics facility in Kanata, featuring an image of Unifor and PSAC members on the picket line.

Earlier this month, both unions sent a joint letter to the Canadian Safety Nuclear Commission (CNSC), expressing their concerns about Best Theratronics using unqualified managers and non-union workers as scab labour to handle safety-sensitive equipment at its. facility, including those containing radioactive material.

More than 50 members of Unifor Local 1541 and PSAC-UNE Local 70369 are on strike at Best Theratronics. Unifor members went on strike May 1, 2024, after the company proposed a two-year contract with zero wage increases, while PSAC members followed shortly after on May 10 with no monetary offer from the employer.

Best Theratronics develops and manufactures external beam therapy units, self-contained blood irradiators, and cyclotrons for hospitals, medical and research facilities.

During the Victoria Day long weekend last month, the company’s owner Krishnan Suthanthiran went on an email rant to workers, saying the company will use contractors to complete work.

“These billboards are bright and loud and bringing attention to all the issues Best Theratronics refuses to address,” said Unifor Local 1541 President Steve LaBelle.

“Our members stand by putting safety-sensitive practices at the highest importance. They also deserve to be able to survive this affordability crisis we’re in with fair wages.”

Unifor members work in the Skilled Trades as certified machinists, welders, sheet metal workers, machining process specialists, calibrators, electronic technicians, electrical and mechanical inspectors at the facility.

PSAC members work as design specialists, production planners and production controllers, expert technicians and many other key positions which are crucial to the drafting, manufacturing and delivery of Atomic Energy-based machines produced by Best Theratronics Limited.

“The company didn’t listen to the membership and the owner doesn’t have the respect for the members, based on the email activities and responses we get,” said PSAC-UNE Local 70369 Mark Booth.

“We placed these billboard signs out here to express to the public why we are here and to go gain the attention of the employer.”