TEMISKAMING Picket lines went up this morning at the District of Temiskaming Social Services Administration Board after marathon talks between the employer and Local 4357 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing 20 social service workers, broke off at 3:00 a.m. without reaching a settlement. These women and men provide welfare services and support to communities in the District, including New Liskeard and Kirkland Lake, and communities between Latchford and the Quebec border.
This fight is about job security and basic benefits, and the rights of temporary and contract workers, says Denis Rg0069mbald, CUPE National Representative. This employer refuses to provide long-term disability benefits and will not agree to no-contracting out protection. With no benefits and no job security protection, the employer has an incentive to keep as many positions as possible in the temporary category.
Overtime provisions dont even kick in until after 88 hours of work over a two-week period, adds Rg0069mbald. Outstanding issues include contracting-out language, benefits for temporary and part-time workers, job security and hours of work.
This employer was looking for a strike, added Rg0069mbald. Before even talking to us, they hired a well-known anti-union lawyer from Toronto, Robert Budd, with a track record of prolonged and bitter strikes in Toronto and other communities.
Local 4357 is calling on members of the public to contact their local politicians and ask them to get back to the table and bargain. The District of Temiskaming Social Services Administration Board is made up of local politicians from the various communities in the District.
For further information, please contact:
Denis Rg0069mbald, CUPE National Representative
(705) 264-1269 - (705) 266-5634 (cell)
Robert Lamoureux, CUPE Communications