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Carleton Place, Ont. – Workers at Community Living Association Lanark, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), have been pushed by their employer to go out on strike for a fair deal.

Management and the board did nothing to prevent this strike,” said Karen Bowes, CUPE 1521-02 unit chair. “We’ve done everything possible to find a deal that would have prevented this strike.  Management refused every no-cost proposal to start a pension plan. We don’t understand why they would refuse a plan that would not cost the agency a single penny.”

The lack of a pension and concession demands by the agency pushed the workers to the picket line.  While other Association for Community Living (ACL) agencies across the province achieved fair settlements with their workers, Community Living Association Lanark focused on “saying no to every proposal put to them to address the issue of a pension plan”, said Bowes. “Other ACL workers in Ontario already have pension plans, so there is no reason why this agency should not offer the same plan, after all ACL agencies are all funded the same way.”

The 90 social service workers provide care to people with intellectual disabilities. Their last contract expired on March 31, 2009. “This is an issue of respect and fairness,” continued Bowes. “Management’s actions show a complete lack of respect for our members and the services we provide to people with intellectual challenges.  What kind of leadership is this?”


For further information, please contact:

Karen Bowes, CUPE 1521-02 Unit Chair, 613-264-7890
Doreen Beath, CUPE National Representative, 613-552-6826
James Chai, CUPE Communications, 416-292-3999