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Workers at Boys’ Home, a Toronto social agency offering residential, counselling and education programs to distressed youth, took strike action January 13. The 32 full-time and 40 part-time staff, members of CUPE 3501, walked off the job after the employer’s final offer demonstrated a total lack of faith in bargaining.

“These workers have not had an increase in over seven years,” said staff representative Peter Paulekat. “They’ve also been frozen in a wage grid since 1992, and they took a 3 per cent pay cut in 1997. Now the employer want them to sign a deal with no increase and a wage freeze until 2004.”

Joining workers on the picket line, CUPE Ontario president Sid Ryan said, “Enough is enough. Management has shown a total lack of understanding of the need to improve working conditions and ensure a positive environment for our troubled youth.”

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