Kirkland Lake – Kirkland Lake ACL management should stop using scabs, stop misleading the public and get back to the bargaining table, says the union representing 88 workers offering support and care for young people and adults with exceptional needs. The strike that began September 6th is set to drag into it’s third week.
“The people of Kirkland Lake will want to know why ACL management is prolonging this strike after the Ministry of Social Services released $31.7 million in additional funds to ACL’s on Tuesday, September 11th,” says Ian Thompson, CUPE Social Service sector Coordinator.
“ACL clients and the community will want to know why the ACL Board of Directors took out full page advertisements distorting the facts about the union’s demands, instead of trying to negotiate a settlement,” says Fran Ludwick, President of CUPE 3440. “The employer demanded concessions in exchange for a drug plan, and our request for a defined pension plan was not an unreasonable one.” Ms. Ludwick was referring to bloated wage figures and misleading statements in a full-page advertisement by the employer in local papers.
“Our demands are fair and reasonable,” says Jo-Ann Breton, CUPE National Rep. “A pension plan, drug benefits and job security are basic workplace rights, and workers shouldn’t have to make concessions in other areas to obtain them.”
“Most shocking of all is a move by the Board of Directors to bring in strike breakers from a scab-master outfit in Windsor owned by Wayne Strong,” says Breton, CUPE National Representative. Strong made headlines a few years ago after unsuccessfully suing General Motors for wrongful dismissal over sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations. In his June 1997 ruling, paragraphs 36 and 37, Ontario Court Justice Granger J. wrote: “I am satisfied beyond any reasonable doubt that M was sexually assaulted by Mr. Strong and … I am also satisfied that Mr. Strong sexually harassed C, L and G.”
“It’s time to stop using out-of-town scabs to prolong this strike, it’s time to stop spreading misinformation about the union’s position and it’s time to get Kirkland Lake’s share of provincial funding, get back to the table and settle this strike,” adds Breton.
“Last year employers commissioned a KPMG study that found ACL wages are 20% to 25% less than their counterparts in other sectors,” adds Thompson. “How can this employer call our position unreasonable?”
For further information, please contact:
Jo-Ann Breton, CUPE National Rep., North Bay Area Office
Ian Thompson, Social Serv. Coordinator, CUPE Ontario Region
Robert Lamoureux, CUPE Communications, Ontario Regional Office
Fran Ludwick, CUPE 3440 President,