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KINCARDINE Buoyed by mounting community and political support, the union representing striking Westario Power workers say they are optimistic a settlement can be reached to end a 61-day long strike at the utility. At the request of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), negotiators from both sides will return to the bargaining this Thursday, at the Best Western Governors Inn in Kincardine.

The only outstanding issue is the renewal of a letter of understanding between Westario and CUPE 255 that contains job protection clauses including no layoffs and no contracting out of the work now done by CUPE 255 members.

We believe that the best way to settle this dispute and restore full hydro services to the community, is through the binding arbitration process, provided under our provincial labour laws. Now that the strike is into its second month, we are hoping that Westario negotiators come to the table prepared to reach this kind of pragmatic compromise, says CUPE National representative Jim Keenan.

Arbitration is a quasi-judicial process in which a third-party (an arbitrator or arbitration board) hears evidence presented by both the union and the employer on issues in dispute, and hands down a binding decision.

Early in the dispute, CUPE proposed binding arbitration as a means to end the strike. But, at the time, the Westario negotiators rejected the offer. Reg Pearson, Director of Labour-Management Services, Ministry of Labour, will be leading mediation in Thursdays negotiations.

  • WHO: - CUPE 255 Westario Power Workers

  • WHAT: - Negotiations between CUPE 255 and Westario Power Corporation resume

  • WHERE: - Best Western Governors Inn, 791 Durham St., Kincardine

  • WHEN: - Thursday, October 21, 2004 10:00 a.m.


For more information, please contact:
Jim Keenan, CUPE National Representative - (705) 790-0056

John Cromwell, CUPE National Representative - (416) 454-1880

Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications - (416) 578-8774