EDMONTON Western Canadian municipal workers gave a standing ovation to CUPE Local 339 president Bev Lapointe after hearing about the struggle of Nelsons locked-out city workers today.
Lapointe and local secretary-treasurer Kathy Johnson were applauded by the 125 delegates gathered here for CUPEs Western Region Municipal Conference being held June 17-20.
CUPE BC president Barry ONeill introduced Lapointe and vowed the support of CUPEs 70,000 members in British Columbia.
We are dealing with a council [Nelson] that has decided that private is better, but we are the ones who deliver city services, ONeill said. We understand what it is to lack these services. We have been providing these services before this council came around, and will be providing them long after they are gone.
National President Paul Moist reminded delegates that when the City of Nelson took on their 74 city workers, they took on CUPEs half a million members of which 120,000 are municipal workers.
Support is pouring in from residents and organizations in Nelson and surrounding communities as well as private and public unions from across the province and country.
Letters of solidarity are distributed to the picket line and can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put Letter of Solidarity in the subject line.
A BBQ & Community Celebration of Public Services is planned for Monday, June 21st outside Nelsons City Hall at 502 Vernon Street.
A copy of Sister Lapointes speech can be read at www.cupe.bc.ca.
Barry ONeill, CUPE BC President, (604) 916-8444
Bev Lapointe, CUPE Local 339 President, (250) 359-2996
Diane Kalen, CUPE Communications, (778) 229-0258.