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Aurora-The safety of residents of Yellow Brick House one of two womens shelters in York Region - will be jeopardized if 40 front line and administrative staff are locked out by the shelter management on December 10, say shelter workers and Sid Ryan the Ontario president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

We are committed to easing the transition for women and children fleeing abusive relationships. Its very distressing to us, that the Yellow Brick House management would take action that would effectively close the shelter. Locking out shelter workers will unfortunately hurt the women and children who rely on the shelter for housing and support, said Colleen Johnson, a counsellor at Yellow Brick House.

Community and union activists joined Johnson and Ryan for a rally in Aurora, on Tuesday, December 2, in support of the shelter workers and residents.

For months the shelter staff and the union have endeavoured to avoid a labour dispute and negotiate fairly to achieve a collective agreement. But instead of negotiating management is using intimidation tactics to undermine the rights of workers, while at the same time cutting services for women who are vulnerable.

Women and children who are victims of violence, are being put at risk by an employer more interested in crushing the union than the well being of the residents. It is unconscionable behaviour, said Ryan.

He called on the Ministry of Community and Social Services to initiate an operational review of Yellow Brick House. In addition Ryan said he will be raising the issue with Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty at an upcoming meeting.


For more information please contact:
Colleen Johnson, Counsellor, Yellow Brick House (519) 942-7209
Sid Ryan, President, CUPE Ontario (416) 209-0066
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications (416) 578-8774