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Halifax – The Canadian Union of Public Employees is going after Premier MacDonald on what it is calling a human rights issue.

CUPE Nova Scotia President Danny Cavanagh says, “Seasonal employees at the Department of Natural Resources want a union to represent them but they are not allowed.

“These workers are being discriminated against. Why would the government prevent them from having the same rights as any other worker in Nova Scotia,” asks Cavanagh.

These employees have been working anywhere from three to nine months every year, in some cases for 30 years, without any guarantee of being hired back, any benefits, protections or wage parity with full-time workers doing the same job,” adds Cavanagh.

Says Cavanagh, “This smacks of the old days on the highways when people got hired and fired depending on the supervisor or the government in power. The highway workers won the right to be represented by CUPE and are now protected, so should these workers have that right.”

CUPE says over 70% of these employees signed union cards with them last summer, but the MacDonald government has been dragging its feet and failing to deal with it.

These members have received a commitment from the leader of the NDP to end this discrimination. In a letter to the Premier today, Cavanagh is asking for his commitment to act quickly to end this case of discrimination.

For information:
Danny Cavanagh, President, CUPE Nova Scotia - (902) 957-0822 (Cell)
John McCracken, CUPE Communications Rep. - (902) 455-4180 (0)