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Fredericton Members of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 1251, which represents Correctional Officers, Custodians, Human Services Counselors, Lab Assistants and Food Service Workers began a strike today at 12:01am.

Last week, Members of CUPE Local 1251 voted overwhelming in favor of striking.

Provincial labour relations laws prohibit the local from picketing their workplaces, so the union has decided to do volunteer work in their communities instead.

We left the door open for the government to come back to the table with a new offer but it didnt happen. Human Resources Minister, Rose-May Poirier says the governments offer is fair. How could she make such a statement? How can she justify that our members earn significantly less than other public service employees in similar jobs? We are only asking for parity for our members, said Danny Légère, President of CUPE Local 1251.

This local has never been on strike since it was formed in 1967, but this time we are ready to fight for what we believe is right, said Légère.

Since, the Lord government came into power, it has failed miserably to demonstrate a willingness to negotiate in good faith, said Légère. How can you explain that workers after workers, who serve the public, have to walk out from their job in order to obtain parity and equality. This is the action of a government who wants to invest in people to go further. Well its time the Premier keeps his promises.

CUPE Local 1251 contract expired in December 2002. The local has a membership of 533.

CUPE 1251 has set up strike quarters in every region of the province: Moncton, Miramichi, Bathurst, Edmundston, Saint John. The Provincial Strike Headquarters is located at the Fredericton Inn (506) 450-8776 and (506) 459-8492.

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For more information:
Lorne Saunders, CUPE Representative (506) 645-1714
Danny Légère, President CUPE Local 1251 (506) 874-0819
Danielle Savoie, CUPE Communications (506) 381-1966