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Magog, Monday, January 14, 2002 – On January 8, some 80 municipal employees of the Town of Magog, members of CUPE Local 1054 (CUPE-QFL), unanimously gave their union executive a mandate to strike. Bargaining to renew the collective agreement is currently at an impasse. The union has just issued a strike notice for January 31, 2002, as required by the Labour Code.

This strike is necessary since it is clear that the Town does not wish to negotiate and is trying to gain time, explained union negotiator Jean-Pierre Roy. In fact, if Minister Harel issues a decree for a municipal merger, bargaining would be suspended for more than a year. A merger proposal has already been drawn up and the Town hopes to have a reply this spring. “Hoping that this merger will be approved, the Town is attempting to withdraw from its obligation to bargain,” continued Mr. Roy.

Nevertheless, as union president Richard Houde points out: “Our working conditions need adjustments and improvements. We have experienced setback after setback over the past few years: the decree of minus 2%, deficit zero and finally, 6% with the agreement frozen. And the Town now hopes to freeze our working conditions again for another 15 months. It is unacceptable!”

Inspite of the strike notice, the union is ready and willing to resume bargaining.

CUPE represents approximately 70% of all municipal employees in Qub0065c. In addition to the municipal sector, CUPE is present in 10 other sectors of activity in Qub0065c, including health and social services, education, universities, urban and air transport, hydroelectricity, Crown corporations, Qub0065c public organizations and communications. With close to 100,000 members in Qub0065c, it is also the largest QFL affiliated union.