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(Halifax) – As the Canadian Union of Public Employees heads closer and closer to its strike deadline of January 18th, the leadership of the union is speaking out about the seriousness of the situation.

CUPE’s General Vice President for the Maritime/Atlantic Region, Daniel Legere, says the union’s 600,000 members Canada-wide are more than prepared to support the 7,000 school board and hospital workers in Nova Scotia.
Says Legere, “CUPE has been down this road many times and it’s not something we want to do, but if forced to we will. As the country’s largest union, we see this as an issue of basic fairness and equality for our members.
CUPE believes in defending free collective bargaining and our members will fight to defend and protect rights and benefits achieved in previous rounds of bargaining. Just this past October, our national convention adopted a plan to defend the right to free collective bargaining and the union’s national officers and Executive Board are prepared take a stand in Nova Scotia, if that’s what is required,” says Legere. 
CUPE Nova Scotia President Danny Cavanagh says, “Everyone needs to understand the seriousness of a strike. This is a case of defending basic principles like fairness and equality for those workers in rural Nova Scotia.”
Says Cavanagh, “Nova Scotians need to understand that making a choice to go on strike is one of the hardest decisions a working person ever has to make.  I can assure you, it is not made lightly.  People are talking about giving up their livelihoods for something they believe in.
“We have given this government ample notice of our intentions and if we do end up going on strike on January 18, it won’t be because the union didn’t want to get back to the bargaining table and reach a negotiated settlement,” says Cavanagh.

For information:

Danny Cavanagh                             Daniel Legere                                John McCracken
President, CUPE Nova Scotia         Maritime/Atlantic Region GVP       CUPE Communications Rep.
(902) 957-0822 (Cell)                    (506) 869-0424                             (902) 455-4180 (o)