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VICTORIAVictoria city workers, represented by CUPE Local 50, that attended the second day of the R.G. Properties Save on Foods Memorial Centre Job Fair at the University of Victoria were told by security that they must leave the building.

When the city decided to pursue a public private partnership (P3) for the 7,000-seat Memorial Centre, CUPE Local 50 members, who were previously employed at the Memorial Arena, were assured they would be able to bid for these jobs.

I am outraged, said John Burrows, president of CUPE Local 50, of the rejection of unionized workers from the job fair. A private security firm attempted to block the unionized city workers access to the building.

One security guard, presumed to be hired by R.G. Properties, told a union representative that they were not permitted to be in the public building and that they were not doing the applicants any favours because any prospective employee possessing the unions literature when applying for a job would not be considered.

Regular campus security had indicated that they had no problem with CUPE being on site.

After a fairly peaceful first day [at the job fair], it seems that the employers true colours may have come out, said Burrows. If they are suggesting that people will be denied job opportunities because they are considering union representation, R.G. Properties is in violation of B.C.s Labour Relations Code.

If they have such little regard for labour laws and workers rights now, how are they going to treat workers who do get hired? The union also wants to remind the public that the Save On Foods Memorial Centre continues to be a City of Victoria owned facility located on City of Victoria property.

CUPE Local 50 represents the city of Victoria inside and outside workers, as well as workers at the Victoria Police Board, the Gorge Vale Golf Club, Royal Oak Burial Park, B.C. SPCA Victoria Branch and the United Way of Greater Victoria.

John Burrows, Local 50 President, (250) 385-6023.