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NELSON Municipal workers drew a line in the snow on Wednesday night when they voted 96% in support of taking job action to stop the employer’s demands for concessions.

“The turn-out for the vote was overwhelming,” says CUPE Local 339 President Bev Lapointe. “We had members lining up to vote well before the polls opened,” she says, adding nearly every one of their 80 members participated in the vote.

“Clearly, CUPE municipal workers want to deliver a clear message to the employer. They will not accept any concessions in contract negotiations.”

The union local has been negotiating with the city since February. Last week the employer brought a list of concessions to the table and the union says the employer’s actions constitute an unfair labour practice. The labour code prohibits the introduction of new proposals once bargaining begins.

Lapointe says she hopes the strong strike mandate hits the employer like a cold shower. “I hope it gets their attention,” she says, “because they need to understand our members are strong and united in our resolve that we will not accept the elimination of job security provisions or benefit reductions.”

Mediator Grant McArthur was appointed this week to help the two sides reach a settlement. The local remains hopeful a negotiated settlement will be achieved, without the need for strike action.

The local has been without a new contract for nearly a year.

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Contact: Bev Lapointe at 250-359-2996