CUPE has filed for a judicial review to the Superior Court of Justice of the Township of Black River-Matheson over the municipality’s heavy-handed escalation in its treatment of striking municipal workers.

“CUPE local 1490 is engaged in a legal strike and they’re making a legitimate call for better wages for workers who deliver important services,” said CUPE National President Mark Hancock. “What the Township is doing is a deeply troubling intrusion on the constitutionally protected right of our members to collectively bargain and to take strike action. I’m outraged that the Township’s taken to abuse of the Charter rights of its workers – and that’s why we’re sending them yet another loud and clear message.”

On February 15, the Township issued a trespass notice excluding the 14 striking members of CUPE 1490 from three municipal locations. Additionally, the notice excluded “members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees” and “employees from the Canadian Union of Public Employees”.

With the union’s application, which was served to the municipality on March 12, the Superior Court of Justice is now tasked with determining whether, among other things, the municipality’s trespass notice violates the Charter-protected rights of CUPE members and employees.

“These rights are protected for a reason,” said Hancock. “We’ll defend the right to strike and demonstrate everywhere, from picket lines to the courts, if we have to.”