BURNABY — Members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) will be front and centre at a labour protest in the Kootenays tomorrow (Wednesday) as British Columbia’s union workers continue a co-ordinated protest plan aimed at convincing the BC Liberal government to return to the bargaining table.
“Bill 12 was an unjust law when it was introduced, and it’s still an unjust law right now,” said CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill.
“Obviously, the longer the government goes without settling this dispute the right way —by sitting down at the bargaining table — the more union members are going to exercise their right to protest an unjust law.”
In the West Kootenays, CUPE members from Castlegar and Trail will attend a noon hour rally at the cenotaph in Trail. CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill will speak at the rally. Nelson members will rally with the West Kootenays Labour Council at the Whyte Building, 310 Ward Street at 4:00 p.m. In the East Kootenays, CUPE members will gather in Cranbrook for a noon-hour rally outside MLA Bill Bennett’s office.
CUPE has about 2,500 members in the Kootenays, 1,400 of them working in the K -to- 12 sector.
On Thursday, CUPE members who work in all sectors of the Interior will show support for the BCTF in a variety of actions. A noon-hour rally is planned for Kelowna. Extra support on the protest lines will take place in Vernon and rallies are also planned in other communities. In Penticton municipal members will rally at Gyro Park at 10:30 am, walk up Main Street to Penticton High School and protest side-by-side with teachers.
CUPE has 7,800 members in the Interior, 2,800 of whom work in school districts.
CUPE members in the K-to-12 sector include teaching assistants, custodians, library assistants, secretaries, clerical support, maintenance and technical support services.
For more information on details and times, please visit the CUPE BC website at www.cupe.bc.ca.