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WINNIPEG Health care support workers at the Maples Personal Care Home voted last week to go on strike to support their contract demands.

Contract negotiations with the employer at the privately owned retirement facility have achieved limited progress after months of discussion.

According to Mark Kernaghan, CUPE Representative for the workers at the Maples, There isnt any patience with the employer. Theyve never shown any willingness to negotiate fairly and were prepared for another battle.

In 1999, the employer locked out the workers when negotiations had not reached any agreement.

Basically we want to reduce the disparities between what workers in public facilities are earning and what our members are getting. Its only fair, but the employer has consistently refused to provide wages and benefits, such as a pension and a long term disability plan, similar to what other health care workers across the province are getting, he added.

Though we were in a strike position as of October 20th, we have scheduled meetings through conciliation for next week. Were still hopeful we can reach an agreement that will be fair to everyone, said Kernaghan.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canadas largest union representing more than a half-million women and men. In Manitoba, CUPE represents 24,000 members in health care, education, municipalities, social services, child care, utilities, libraries and emergency services.


For information, contact:
Mark Kernaghan, CUPE Representative
942-0343 ext. 216
Dennis Lewycky, Communications
942-0343 ext. 298