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Gananoque workers aim to speed up bargaining with unanimous strike vote - Town workers want to settle new contract with defined hours of work

Sep 12, 2008 02:32 PM
 

Gananoque, ON – Gananoque town workers have sent a clear message to their employer with a 100 per cent vote in favour of strike action:  “Let’s pick up the pace of bargaining and get the job done.”

The workers, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 1701, work for the Town of Gananoque in municipal works, recreation and utility services.  They have been without a contract since December 31, 2007, and voted last night to take strike action if necessary. 

“We have always been there for the Town, day-in and day-out as well as in emergencies at the drop of a hat,” says Amy Parker, Staff Representative for CUPE 1701.  “But we’ve been working too long without defined hours of work and it’s taking a toll.  Our workers simply want to be able to know what their regular hours of work are going to be.  This isn’t too much to ask.”

“Let’s figure out our regular hours, while keeping emergency hours separate, as it is in most other municipalities,” Parker says. 

Bargaining would have begun in November 2007 but the Town of Gananoque was dealing with vacancies in their management group that delayed the process, Parker explains.  It was July of this year before both sides finally made it to the table, and patience is wearing thin.  Hours of work remains the biggest issue, with job security and monetary matters adding to the concerns.  

“Bargaining is going reasonably well, but it’s moving too slowly,” Parker says.  “The members wanted to send a clear message to the employer that we need to pick up the pace.  Let’s build on the headway we’re achieved together and get the job done.”

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For more information, contact:

Amy Parker, CUPE Staff Representative, cell 613 542 2069 ext. 227
Wayne Truesdell, 613 382 7064
David Robbins, CUPE Communications, cell 613 878 1431