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WINNIPEG – Eight workers at the Salvation Army’s The Haven shelter at 180 Henry Avenue, say they’ve had enough. After being without a contract since October 2000, the members, who belong to Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 2348, have unanimously voted to strike.

These workers assist the people who are most in need, yet their employer – The Salvation Army – is ignoring their needs,” says CUPE staff representative Mark Kernaghan. “This is an employer that is more concerned about putting up buildings with the millions of dollars it has just received in funding than about paying decent wages to the workers who deliver services.”

The Haven is a long-term residence for people with psychological difficulties who need assistance in coping with basic living tasks. Kernaghan says negotiations have been held up waiting for a response to a wage parity study, which was completed and submitted to the provincial government last year. Starting wages for the residential and life skills workers are between $8.50 to $8.60 an hour.

While the Salvation Army agreed to the study, there has been no discussion about implementing the study’s recommendations. CUPE applied for conciliation before Christmas but Kernaghan says no progress has been made.

CUPE is Canada’s largest union representing more than a half-million women and men across the country. In Manitoba, the Canadian Union of Public Employees represents 24,000 members who work in health care, education, municipalities, social services, child care, utilities, libraries and emergency services.

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For more information, contact:
Mark Kernaghan, CUPE staff representative
(204) 942-0343 ext. 216