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Employees and clients out on the street

Saint-Hubert – Friday, April 5, 2013 – The largest service provider for the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) on the South Shore has locked its doors, leaving employees and clients out on the street. The lockout comes after a conciliation request by the Syndicat des travailleuses du Club optimiste Laflèche, whose members provide SAAQ services in the Saint-Hubert area.

The seven employees, members of CUPE 5051, are still disappointed by the fact they have not yet signed a new collective agreement despite the fact that an agreement in principle was accepted by members on December 19. “And now this!” said Manon Bienvenue, president of CUPE 5051. “For an Optimist Club, our employer is pretty pessimistic when it comes to work relations.”

We have shown a lot of openness. We have asked for conciliation,” she said. “Let’s not forget that we have an agreement in principle. We even had a date to sign it, but the employer decided that they no longer wanted to sign the collective agreement.”

The employer took advantage of its about-face by making approximately 20 changes to the work contract. Considering the situation, employees decided last month to opt for a strike mandate.

The issues up for negotiation include work schedule, the time required for opening and closing the branch, as well as retroactivity.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) supports its members and will not let them fall while faced with an employer who does not respect its own word – and who respects its employees even less,” said Nathalie Courchesne, the CUPE advisor assigned to the issue.

With more than 111,000 members in Quebec, CUPE is present in 10 sectors: social affairs, communications, education, energy, municipalities, Crown corporations and public-sector organizations, air and urban transportation, the mixed sector as well as universities.

Nathalie Courchesne, union advisor, cell 514 242-2027
Lisa Djevahirdjian, CUPE Information, cell 514 831-3815