VICTORIA—CUPE 410, representing Greater Victoria Public Library workers, held a festive march and rally today with over 300 people participating.
After marching down Douglas Street from the Central Library to Centennial Square, library workers and others were buoyed by the energy of the crowd and support from rally speakers.
Neil Williams, past-president of the Greater Victoria Public Library Board, spoke strongly in support of pay equity, saying it was his first-ever labour rally. NDP MLA for Victoria-Hillside, Rob Fleming, called on the Campbell government to keep its promise to fund B.C. libraries and told library workers that the public is behind them.
Saying that his members had finally been pushed to the wall on the issue of pay equity, Ed Seedhouse, CUPE 410 president, said, “We care so much about the service we give, and we are so very reluctant to deprive our users of it.”
Alex Youngberg, president of CUPE 391 representing currently striking library workers in Vancouver, brought a strong message of solidarity. Youngberg said that she was proud of the fight for fairness and pay equity for library workers in Victoria and Vancouver – and thanked them for having the courage to take job action.
All members were off the job for the full day today, affecting the Greater Victoria Public Library’s nine branches. The union had put job action on hold last week in the hopes that library management would return to negotiations. However, due to the employer’s refusal to bargain, they took job action today. They have not yet announced plans for future job action.
Contact: Ed Seedhouse, CUPE 410 president: (250) 588-9565
Tammy Simonds, CUPE national representative (250) 812-7197
For more information on CUPE 410’s campaign for pay equity, visit www.overduepromise.ca.