Labour leaders and community supporters from across the Nipissing and Parry Sound area came out at lunchtime Monday, to show their love for the Children’s Aid workers who have been locked out since before Christmas.

Holding signs calling on the employer to ‘Have a Heart,’ and ‘Show some Love,’ more than two hundred supporters came together outside the Nipissing Children’s Aid Society on McIntyre St. West, in North Bay.

“Our members will continue to fight for what they need so that they can safely protect children and families,” said CUPE Ontario Secretary-Treasurer, Candace Rennick. “It’s time for the executive director to show more of a heart than she did when she locked you out right before Christmas.”

Workers had hoped they would finally be able to reach a settlement when talks resumed on Friday, but were quickly disappointed Sunday afternoon when the employer indicated they weren’t willing to back down from their concession demands.

“We’re here today because you matter and the work you do matters,” Chair of CUPE Ontario’s Social Service Sector, Carrie Lynn Poole-Cotnam told the locked out workers. “You can’t be expected to agree to a contract that continues to put you and the children you’re responsible for at risk. It really is time for your employer to show they have a heart.”

“The community is behind you,” said Henri Giroux, president of the North Bay and District Labour Council. “Until you get the deal you need to be able to safely protect our children, we will continue to stand with you and provide the necessary support.”

CUPE is Ontario’s community union, with more than 260,000 members providing quality public services we all rely on, in every part of the province, every day. CUPE Ontario members are proud to work in social services, health care, municipalities, school boards, universities and airlines.