NORFOLK – Norfolk County employees will go on strike February 18, if last-minute talks fail to address their wage concerns.
“We have people working side-by-side making different rates of pay,” says Josie Marchesano, the president of CUPE Local 4700. “If the county were to get its way, this unfair situation would continue for years to come. Some people would earn five dollars an hour more than their colleagues doing the same work. We are not going to stand for it.”
The members of CUPE Local 4700 voted 92 per cent in favour of a strike. “Because of amalgamation, we have a new county,” says Marchesano. “The employees are working hard to make this new county work. We expect fairness in return.”
The 260 members of CUPE Local 4700 work for public health, community services, roads, by-law enforcement, the building department, social services, and the finance department. They do everything from treating water and sewage, to controlling outbreaks of infectious diseases, to inspecting restaurants, clearing roads, garbage collection, rinks and arenas and pools, child care, animal control, and other services.
“Our demands are reasonable. The last thing we want is a strike but we are prepared to act if the county continues to ignore the wage disparities,” says Marchesano.
Talks have been scheduled for tomorrow and Friday.
Steve Lillico : 905-575-5411 or 416-995-5080
Shannon McManus, CUPE Communications: 416-292-3999