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Trois-Rivir0065s, Thursday, June 5, 2003 - A few hours before going out on strike, the bus drivers representatives, called a press conference to inform the population of the impacts of this dispute. During the conference, they presented the main features of the essential services agreement, concluded on Monday evening with the Socit de transport de Trois-Rivir0065s (STTR).

Unless there is a last minute agreement, the strike will begin on Friday morning at 5 a.m. At first, the union had proposed that buses would begin to run tomorrow morning at 6:30 a.m. The Socit preferred to delay this by 15 minutes, so buses will run from 6:45 a.m. until 8:45 a.m. The service will also be provided at the end of the afternoon, between 4:15 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. Obviously there will not be any buses on weekends and holidays.

At the same time, the union reassured handicapped people living in Trois-Rivir0065s that throughout this strike, the bus drivers would continue to provide all adapted transport services in full. The drivers objective is not to harm the citizens but to put pressure on the employer in order to obtain equitable working conditions and to prevent the STTR from digging into our retirement fund, said CUPE 4115 president, Luc Giroux. The unions position has always been not necessarily a strike, but a strike if necessary. By refusing to budge at the bargaining table, the employer has forced us to act. This is not what we hoped for, but we have no choice, said Ren 0046rc0068ette, CUPE representative.

CUPE represents some 6,500 members in urban transportation in Qub0065c. In addition to this sector, CUPE is also active in 10 other sectors, including health and social services, education, municipalities, air transportation and communications. With close to 100,000 members in Qub0065c, it is the largest FTQ affiliate.

This press release and other information are posted on the Internet at scfp.qc.ca

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