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AMHERST, NS - The union at Autumn House says the surprise announcement this week that the Executive Director of the Amherst women’s shelter is taking a job in Halifax, should open the door to resolving the 16-week strike.

CUPE National Representative Terry Goulding says, “Ms. Barrett’s departure is unexpected, to say the least, but we definitely believe it will give us a chance to get back to the table and iron out the two issues that are still outstanding – 12-hour shifts and the benefits formula.

“We understand the Board of Directors is meeting today to put together a ‘contingency plan’. I would strongly suggest that the first order of business should be the resumption of face-to-face talks with Local 4326,” says Goulding.

Reacting to the timing of Ms. Barrett’s decision, Goulding says, “It’s a little odd to be sure. It would have been nice for both parties to have seen this dispute through to a conclusion, but we can’t worry about that. Our goal now is to get this strike settled.”

Local 4326 President Terry Cove says, “Sometimes what’s needed in a lengthy dispute like this is some sort of catalyst that breaks the logjam. Perhaps this surprise departure can be that catalyst.”

Cove says morale on the picket line is still strong and the workers have been receiving lots of support from CUPE National, other CUPE locals, the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour, the teachers’ union and many other unions.

For further information:
Terry Cove
President, CUPE Local 4326
(902) 667-7314 (h), (902) 694-3012 (Cell)

Terry Goulding
CUPE National Rep.
(902) 752-2244 (o)

John McCracken
CUPE Communications Rep.
(902) 455-4180 (o)