(The following is the text of a letter to Board members of the Kirkland Lake ACL from Local 3440 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing 88 workers on strike since September 6th, 2001.)
Dear Board Member:
We are writing you today to urge you to direct the Executive Director of the Kirkland Lake ACL to return to the negotiating table. You may have heard that our sister local CUPE 65, the Fort Frances Association for Community Living, achieved a tentative agreement this week, including a pension plan.
Fort Frances ACL workers were on strike for five months and it will take a long time to heal the rift between management and workers, but at least that process can begin now. Since our strike began on September 6th, the government has released additional funding to our ACL. Lets get together and find creative ways to address our issues.
What we are asking is not unreasonable. Our members volunteer much of their time for clients. We try to find them employment with adequate benefits, and we should be able to achieve a drug plan with our own employer. For that we shouldnt have to concede long term disability coverage, a major concession.
Our clients are holed up in a camp with scabs from out of town. They dont want to be there, and were concerned about the quality of care they are receiving. The longer this strike drags on, the more difficult the healing process will be, both for clients and workers.
The money you are spending on the camp and scabs is flowing out of our community, while our clients suffer the consequences.
Lets get back to the negotiating table, and try and find a positive resolution to this dispute.
Sincerely, (original signed by)
Fran Ludwick, President of CUPE Local 3440
For further information, please contact:Jo-Ann Breton, CUPE National Rep.
Fran Ludwick, President, Local 3440
Robert Lamoureux, CUPE Communications