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Union suspends food for fines, pending labour board ruling

VICTORIA—Greater Victoria Public Library workers announced today that they will revert to previous job action of not collecting fines, and will suspend the ‘food for fines’ action while their union awaits the resolution of a Labour Relations Board complaint. CUPE 410, which represents the library workers, also confirmed that it will not take action closing all library branches on Monday, January 21 in protest of a member’s suspension.

CUPE 410 president Ed Seedhouse said that the employer’s threat to lock out workers in response to the union filing an unfair labour practices complaint against the library for suspending a CUPE member for waiving fines for food is making matters worse.

“We are frankly shocked at a January 18 letter from Christopher Graham, Library Board chair, saying that the Board will take ‘the steps necessary for a lock out if union members do not stop waiving fines for food donations,” says Seedhouse.

In response, CUPE 410 has suspended ‘food for fines’ until the LRB rules on the unfair labour practices complaint. Seedhouse said they are confident the decision will be in the union’s favour.

The union confirmed that an informal meeting to hear its complaint has been scheduled for January 22 at 9:30 a.m. at the LRB offices in Vancouver. Should that meeting fail to resolve the complaint, a formal hearing is tentatively set for January 24 in Victoria.

“It’s important to remember why we’re doing these actions—including food for fines—is to put pressure on the employer to return to the bargaining table and resolve the issue of pay equity once and for all,” says Seedhouse.

Contact:  Ed Seedhouse: CUPE  410 president: (250) 588-9565
  Tammy Simonds: CUPE representative: (250) 812-7197
  Dan Gawthrop: CUPE Communications: (604) 999-6132