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WEST NIPISSING The union representing 67 workers who run municipal services in West Nipissing, including hydro, water, garbage and all inside and outside municipal services, will be in a legal strike position at 12:01 a.m., on July 29th, if a settlement cannot be reached before the deadline. Conciliation talks last week failed to reach an agreement and no further talks have been scheduled.

Were ready to go back to the table any time and we hope to prevent a strike, says Monique Drapeau, National Representative of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). But the talks seem to have stalled over privatization and protection for work of the bargaining unit. West Nipissing management wants the right to contract out or privatize certain functions and allow management to perform duties of the bargaining unit.

Privatization would not be good for the communities we serve, says Drapeau. Our fight is very much about protecting the quality of local public services. Local politicians need to understand they were elected to protect public services, not privatize them.

CUPE members previously voted 98% in favour of strike action if a fair deal cannot be reached. Local 535 represents inside and outside workers at the municipality of West Nipissing, as well as employees of West Nipissing Public Energy Services and Utilities Ltd. (hydro, water and wastewater), and West Nipissing Environmental Services (garbage and landfill).

CUPE members are preparing for a strike that could affect all municipal services in the area.

Were urging residents to contact local politicians to tell them to negotiate a fair contract and avoid a strike, says Drapeau. Privatizing services would take away accountability and let private interests control our public services.

For further information, please contact:

Monique Drapeau
CUPE National Representative

Robert Lamoureux
CUPE Communications