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VANCOUVER—The union representing some 2,000 outside workers for the City of Vancouver filed 72-hour strike notice with the Labour Relations Board today, citing the lack of progress in talks with the City and the employer’s “complete unwillingness” to address key issues identified by the union.

Job action, which will begin with a ban on overtime work, could begin as early as Thursday, July 19, 2007 at 11:00 a.m.

In addition to a fair wage increase for all members, says CUPE 1004 president Mike Jackson, the union is seeking wage adjustments for positions in the trades, improvements for temporary full-time workers, and progress on other issues.

There are problems recruiting new workers and retaining experienced workers, yet the employer won’t deal with these issues. For example, they won’t talk about trades adjustments, vacation and benefit improvements—including benefits for retirees. Instead of recognizing the employees who have provided years of service to the city, by providing    promotions and training opportunities, this employer is willing to hire off the street, or from other employers, and allow those new workers better opportunities for jobs and more vacation,” says Jackson.

CUPE 1004 also wants to achieve whistleblower protection for members who want to report concerns without facing discipline.

CUPE 1004’s last collective agreement expired on December 31, 2006. The union recently held a strike vote that resulted in 96 per cent support. During any job action, essential services related to public health and safety as set by the Labour Relations Board will be maintained.

CUPE 1004 represents outside workers of the City of Vancouver and the Board of Parks and Recreation, including lifeguards employed on city beaches. The Local also represents workers at the Pacific National Exhibition Board (including Playland), Parking Corporation of Vancouver, Downtown Eastside Housing and Residents Association, Portland Hotel Society, Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC, and Co-Development Canada.

Contact: Mike Jackson, CUPE 1004 president: (604) 324-2440 (office), (778) 908-8070 (cell); Diane Kalen, CUPE Communications, (778)229-0258.