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VANCOUVER - More than 600 CUPE delegates from B.C.s largest union will gather in Vancouver May 8 11 to debate more than 100 resolutions and discuss strategies to defend public sector programs, services and jobs from the assault by the Campbell Liberal government.

The convention comes at a criticial time for CUPEs 68,000 members, says provincial president Barry ONeill. We are engaged in the fight of our lives to defend our collective agreements, our public health and education systems and the future of our communities from the destructive policies of the Campbell Liberals.

Convention delegates will discuss the next phase of the unions Strong Communities Campaign and its membership-wide Solidarity Vote. The special vote, underway in CUPE bargaining units across the province, is an expression of what members will do to defend their jobs, their services and their communities, says ONeill.

The CUPE BC president will open the convention with his address to delegates on Wednesday evening at 7:30 p.m., and CUPE national president Judy Darcy will deliver her keynote speech on Thursday at 11 a.m. Other speakers include Jim Sinclair, President of the B.C. Federation of Labour; Bill Wilson of the First Nations Summit; and Claude Genereux, CUPEs National Secretary-Treasurer.

The four-day convention at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Vancouver concludes on Saturday afternoon.

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Assignment editors: The convention is open to the media. Media kits and Credentials are available in the Queen Charlotte Room at the hotel.

Please contact: For more information or to arrange interviews, call communications rep Beth Smillie at 604-291-1940 (ext. 223).