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(Grand Falls/Windsor) At its provincial convention in Grand Falls/Windsor today, CUPE Newfoundland & Labrador has committed its support to two sister unions currently embroiled in battles of their own.

CUPE NL. President Wayne Lucas says his union, Canadas largest, has pledged its full support to the CEP in its fight against job cuts at the paper plant in Grand Falls/Windsor. Unlike Abitibi Consolidated, when it comes to making a choice between working families and their communities and the bottom line, we stand with the workers. Local CEP Rep. Ron Smith was on hand for the debate and resolution of support.

Says Lucas, Weve also offered the same full support to the FFAW/CAW in the crab fishery dispute. People are seeing the same dictatorial manner from Danny Williams in this dispute that CUPE and NAPE members saw a year ago when he couldnt negotiate a deal with 20,000 public sector workers so he legislated us back to work.

Lucas also had a simple message for the Williams government on the Hay Report on health care reforms Tear it up and throw it in the garbage. Health care workers at the convention from the Northern Peninsula and the west coast of the island talked about how the recommendations in the Hay Report would create havoc in the delivery of fundamental services such as obstetrics and pediatrics.

CUPE National President Paul Moist, referring to the current impasse in the crab fishery dispute, issued a challenge to the premier to open up the legislature to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. The legislatures of this country do not belong to politicians of any political stripe they belong to the citizens of this province.

Moist also had a message about skyrocketing auto insurance rates. Its time you learned the lesson that the three provinces with the lowest car insurance rates in the country have. Make the switch to a public auto insurance system and give yourselves a break.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canadas largest union, representing over half a million workers across the country. CUPE 31st annual provincial convention continues through Wednesday, May 4 at the Mount Peyton Hotel.

For information:

John McCracken, CUPE Communications Rep. - (902) 455-4180 (o) - (902) 222-8457 (Cell)

Wayne Lucas, CUPE NL. President, 727-2509 or 489-2251

David Robbins, CUPE Communications Rep. - (To speak with Paul Moist)(613) 878-1431