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TORONTO Supporters of 13 women who have been on strike for five weeks at the Niagara Institute, a branch of the Conference Board of Canada, will bring a message to business people and shoppers in downtown Toronto tomorrow: the Conference Board is playing fast and loose with its own economic forecasts.

These workers walked out after their employer tabled a measly increase of 1.3%, claiming it is based on the Conference Board of Canadas own forecasts for economic growth in Canada over the next year, says Sid Ryan, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario Division.

But the Board has just released a forecast of 3% growth this year and 3.2% in 2005. Which numbers are businesses and consumers supposed to believe? Asks Ryan.

Ryan and other members of the CUPE Ontario Executive Board will join the strikers from CUPE Local 1287 at a solidarity picket in front of the Conference Boards Toronto office, 1 Queen Street East at 12 noon on Friday, July 9.

The workers are clerical, technical and program development staff at the Niagara Institute, which teaches management courses including negotiating, resolving differences and reaching mutually acceptable agreements.

For more information, please contact:

Steve Leavitt
CUPE 1287
(905) 685-0001

Sid Ryan
CUPE Ontario
(416) 209-0066 (cell)

Stella Yeadon
CUPE Communications
(416) 292-3999 ext. 240
(416) 578-8774 (cell)