CUPE is appealing an injunction issued April 8 against the striking employees at Breton Bay nursing home in Sydney. The injunction limits pickets at the site to four per entrance, calls for the removal of two trailers situated on private property alongside the home, and restricts Breton Bay employees from being on two public streets leading up to the home.
This injunction is one of the strictest we’ve ever seen,” said CUPE staff rep Jacquie Bramwell. “An employer has the right to restrict what’s happening on company property. But this ruling covers private property and public streets!”
The two trailers named in the injunction were being used as strike headquarters by the nursing home workers, and were sitting on private property adjacent to the home. In both cases the union had permission from the owners of the properties to set up strike headquarters there.
“Clearly through the process of injunction you can limit pickets,” says Bramwell. “But can you tell private property owners what they can or cannot do on their own properties? Can you take away a person’s right to be on residential streets?”
“This is a bad ruling that violates basic human rights,” says Bramwell. “This kind of precedent should not go unchallenged.”
The 256 members of CUPE 1183 have been on strike since April 4.