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Strike countdown

CALGARY The city has cancelled vacations and flexible hours of work in a move designed to threaten city workers and force a lesser settlement to avoid a city-wide strike that could begin as early as Friday morning.

Threatening our members in this way constitutes an unfair labour practice, CUPE Local 38 President Peter Marsden said today. The union now is consulting its lawyers to determine the proper course of legal action.

This is a low blow that can only exacerbate an already tense situation, Marsden said. Local 38 has confirmed with city managers that vacations have been cancelled and that this is a clear violation of Alberta labour law.

Members are telling us that they are cancelling international flights as a result of this threat, Marsden said. They are cancelling vacation travel to other parts of Canada to visit sick relatives.

The city has also cancelled flexible work hours forcing parents to incur extra day-care charges and general disruption of family life.

Threats are not the way to go, Marsden said. This is not in keeping with the values the city publicly espouses, such as honesty, respect, compassion and fair play.

The city needs to get serious about our need to catch up with inflation. They also need to start respecting the work we do for this city and the role we play in the local economy.

Local 38 issued 72-hour strike notice on Monday afternoon. That puts the union in a legal strike position as early as Friday morning.

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Peter Marsden, CUPE Local 38 President, 233-2700 or
Ron Verzuh, CUPE Communications, 604-828-7668.