MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – The strike by more than 40 drivers at Red Cross Mississauga-Halton will continue after members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees voted today to reject the employer’s latest offer.
“The bargaining committee took the offer to the members even though it did not differ much from what was on the table when the strike began,” said CUPE National Representative Helen Gibb-Gavel. “The members said no and went back to the picket line.”
The Red Cross is an important agency when it comes to education and emergency response, but its humanitarianism seems to evaporate when it comes to being an employer, she said.
“This employer has failed to understand and recognize the resolve of their own workers who want to achieve significant improvements in their wages and working conditions in their first collective agreement,” Gibb-Gavel said. “When people work for low wages, when they work split shifts that limit their opportunities to take second jobs, when they don’t have access to washrooms or shelter from inclement weather and when they feel like someone is trying to intimidate them, they are going to stand their ground and fight for change.”
CUPE is also trying to negotiate a first contract for passenger assistants, currently on layoff because of the strike by drivers who provide transportation to persons with disabilities, seniors and dialysis patients. A provincial conciliator has been appointed to assist with those negotiations but no dates have been set.
For more information, contact:
Helen Gibb-Gavel, CUPE National Representative, 905-568-4664; cell 905-242-4207
Pat Daley, CUPE Communications, 416-616-6142