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With Halloween approaching, workers at the Continuing Education Students Association of Ryerson (CESAR) have been locked out for almost a month. 

That’s why Local 1281 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 1281), which represents locked out CESAR employees, are inviting students, the public and the media to join them tomorrow (October 30) afternoon as they  ‘Dance Away the Scary Lockout.’ 

Costumes aren’t mandatory, but encouraged, and the impromptu pre-Halloween party will feature music, dancing and food, along with speakers from the labour and campus communities, as well as locked out CESAR employee Shahla Navai. 

We’re really hoping that the two remaining current active members of CESAR’s five-seat executive respond to our call to finish the negotiations they walked away from nearly a month ago,” said Saira Chhibber, President of CUPE 1281. 

Our locked-out staff hope students and others will join us in saying ‘Boo!’ to the lockout. Continuing Education students – the ones who pay for CESAR – and CESAR staff, union and non-union, deserve better than ghoulishly inferior service and dreadful labour relations,” she added. 

CESAR’s executive locked out Local 1281 members nearly a month ago. The lockout began after CESAR’s executive walked away from the bargaining table and withdrew all outstanding proposals. At the time, employees had agreed to a wage freeze and outstanding issues amounted to less than $1,000. No talks have occurred since. Currently, only two-of-five seats are occupied on the CESAR executive. 

CUPE National has filed an unfair labour practices complaint against CESAR on behalf of Local 1281, citing their refusal to conclude a collective agreement through negotiations. 

WHAT:     Lockouts are Scary! Rally and dance party in support of locked out CESAR employees 

WHEN:     Wednesday, October 30, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. 

WHERE:  Front Door, Ryerson Students Centre, 55 Gould Street (North of Dundas, West of Church) 

WHO:       Locked-out CESAR employees, supporters from the labour, student, faculty and surrounding community. Speakers to include:  Fred Hahn, President, CUPE Ontario, Sid Ryan, President, Ontario Federation of Labour, Helen Kennedy, President, Toronto CUPE District Council, Winnie Ng, Canadian Auto Workers (CAW)-Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy, Anver Saloojee, President, Ryerson Faculty Association, Melissa Palermo President, Ryerson Students Association, Shahla Navai, Locked out CESAR employees and CUPE 1281 member 

Notice to Editors, Producers and Photo Desks: Media wishing to arrange on-site interviews with any of the speakers above should contact, Kevin Wilson, CUPE Communications. His contact information is listed below.

For more information, please contact: 

Kevin Wilson
CUPE Communications