KINCARDINE, ON – The union representing construction and clerical workers at Bruce Telecom says Bruce Telecom (BT) needs to ‘get serious’ about negotiating a fair contract before a May 29th deadline for a lockout or strike.

“Time and again, our members have put the interests of the community ahead of their own self-interest,” said Mark O’Leary, President of CUPE 255, which represents the 58 workers currently trying to bargain a new collective agreement with BT

“This corporation is consistently profitable, and our members made numerous sacrifices in previous years to ensure BT remained a viable service to the community, and continued to benefit all residents of their expansive serving area. It’s particularly galling for our members to now be told that after all those sacrifices, our employer now expects us to accept zero cost of living adjustment for the foreseeable future.

The union and BT have been attempting to negotiate a contract with the assistance of a conciliation officer. To date, these efforts have been unsuccessful.

O’Leary said he remains optimistic a deal can be reached.

“If BT comes to the table committed to actually negotiating and resolving the remaining outstanding issues, then I have every confidence we can finish the work of negotiating a fair collective agreement,” he said.

“Our commitment to the residents of Kincardine Township, the surrounding area and to BT users is that we are prepared to negotiate, but we can’t negotiate by ourselves. We need a willing partner at the table,” he added.

The parties meet again tomorrow, May 20th, 2016 with the assistance of a Federally-appointed Mediation Officer.

For more information, please contact:

Sherry Anstett
CUPE 255 spokesperson, 519-477-5313

Kevin Wilson
CUPE Communications, 416-821-6641