Canada Space Workers Strike
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BRAMPTON, ONTARIO – On June 21, for the first time in its 28 year history, the SPATEA (SPAR Professional and Allied Technical Employee’s Association) has gone on strike. SPATEA is a professional association of engineers, scientists, technologists, contract administrators, and allied technical staff employed by MDA Space Missions of Brampton, Ontario. The previous collective agreement expired on December 31, 2005 and negotiations have been ongoing since January 12, 2006.
Formed in 1977, the Association membership has designed Canadian icons like the Canadarm and the Mobile Servicing System used on the International Space Station (including the Canadarm II and Dextre). In addition to its normal duties, the Canadarm is used to inspect the heatshield system of the Space Shuttle to ensure the safe return of the spacecraft and its crew of astronauts. Currently SPATEA members are involved in the design and development of robotic manipulators for nuclear facilities, neurosurgical equipment, scientific instruments for Mars missions, and 3D vision systems.
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Read the full SPATEA news release, dated July 5. And yes, the strike is about salaries.
(Hat tip: Spaceref. )