Warning message

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Monday, September 16, 2002 (Fredericton) – Members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) from across the province are taking part in Special Regional Meetings this week. We are coming together to discuss what we need to do to protect our right to free collective bargaining.

Free collective bargaining is of fundamental importance to all CUPE members – it is a right that we are prepared to stand up to protect. When it comes to negotiating with CUPE 1418, the Lord government has been playing fast and loose with the numbers it reports and making a joke out of negotiations. CUPE members join Local 1418 in saying “It’s time to get serious.”

The members of Local 1418 are only asking for the same wage increase that the government has given others who do similar work. We think this is fair and reasonable, and we call on the Lord government to get back to the table and work with CUPE to reach an agreement.

We also want to send Premier Lord the message that we haven’t forgotten that last year his government introduced legislation that interfered with collective bargaining.

Free collective bargaining is important to all CUPE members. The benefits we value and our families enjoy – benefits, pensions, vacation leave– were fought for and won by unions. Without free collective bargaining, the power to negotiate good wages, job security and safe working conditions will be taken away. We view this as a threat not just to us as workers but to the future we would like our kids to enjoy.

At the CUPE NB Annual Convention in June, our members voted overwhelmingly in support of a plan of action: if any striking CUPE local is legislated back to work and a contract is imposed, all CUPE members in New Brunswick are prepared to take part in a General Strike.

In 1992, tens of thousands of workers – proud CUPE members – brought the province to a standstill when the McKenna government introduced legislation that would have permitted the government to ignore collective agreements. Ten years later, CUPE members have come together and declared that, should the need arise, we are prepared to once again do what it takes to protect free collective bargaining.


For more information:

David Rouse - President CUPE NB,
(506) 432-6352 (res.), (506) 432-0618 (cell.)

Bob Davidson – Maritimes Regional Director,
(506) 635-1622