CARLETON PLACE, Ont. – The striking workers at Community Living Association-Lanark County care deeply for the people they serve. However front line workers have great concerns about the interaction between the people they support and the outsiders the agency is using during the legal strike between CUPE 1521.02 and Community Living Association Lanark County.
“For many years we have done the invaluable front line work, so our agency can support individuals with developmental challenges and their families,” said Karen Bowes, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 1521.02 unit chair. “We have seen things from the picket lines at the residences that concern us.”
“We have witnessed incidents where replacement workers are not following basic daily routines including behavioural guidelines and health and safety practices,” Bowes said, adding that “one incident involving the inappropriate restraint of an individual with developmental challenges forced striking members to call the police.”
“We do not understand why the Lanark employer has chosen to put government allocated funds (taxpayer dollars) into replacement workers rather than focusing their time and resources at the bargaining table to reach a fair deal with the workers who commit themselves every day to the people they support,” said Doreen Beath, CUPE National Representative.
“Since the strike began, the cost of providing replacement workers is estimated at five times the cost of paying the trained, experienced and dedicated members of CUPE 1521.02,” Beath added.
CUPE Local 1521.02 has asked the employer to return to the bargaining table. The employer’s bargaining team refuses to set a date to meet.
“Our presence on the picket lines of the homes allows us to encourage family members and friends to contact the employer with their concerns,” Bowes said. “Due to our monitoring we are able to report to the employer any serious incidents we witness, and even call for intervention if necessary.”
CUPE Local 1521.02 will be sharing their concerns with those attending the People First Rally on August 4th. The union has also requested an opportunity to speak at the People First rally.
Karen Bowes, CUPE 1521-02 Unit Chair, 613-264-7890
Doreen Beath, CUPE National Representative, 613-552-6826
James Neeley, CUPE Communications, 705-772-4733