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Dozens of residents sent a Valentine’s message to Penticton’s Mayor and Council yesterday calling on them to have a heart and stop privatization plans for the Community Centre.

The group including seniors, moms with kids, CUPE members, other union members and the general public rallied at the Band Shell. They heard from speakers before walking to City Hall and presenting mayor and council with the valentines at a packed budget meeting in council chambers.

The large valentines included messages like “Keep the Heart in the Community Centre”; “Don’t Privatize”; and “What would happen to Cleland Theatre, we’d love to know.” One of the valentines had the names of all the programs provided at the community centre. The valentines were left on the council table throughout the meeting.

CUPE 608 is fighting against privatization of the Community Centre which was closed for renovation March 22, 2010. The Local suspected that mayor and council were looking at privatization when they refused to extend seniority of laid-off members. The City has recently put out an RFP for a private company to operate the community centre when it re-opens.

At the Valentine’s Day rally, CUPE 608 members got support from other unions representing postal workers, fire fighters, school district and teachers – as well as the general public. The Local is winning the hearts of the public with their anti-privatization campaign.