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(Vancouver) For every wage that is slashed or job that is cut by the BC government, more jobs will be lost in our communities because of decreased business and spending, and that is a Liberal recipe for ruin the Canadian Union of Public Employees warned today.

Along with cuts to the public service, the BC Liberal government is threatening to take the unprecedented step of gutting freely negotiated contracts that protect the rights and working conditions of tens of thousands of workers.

Gordon Campbell is going back on his word to respect these agreements, and that makes him a liar, not a leader, charges Barry ONeill, president of CUPE BC.

Union jobs support our communities. But this new government is bent on destroying our economy by making working people pay for Liberal tax cuts to the rich.

The provincial government thinks it can save money by tearing up contracts that employees signed in good faith, ONeill explains. But the end result will be that the people of British Columbia will be forced to pay more for fewer services.

After a long and hard-fought strike in 1999, 13,000 community social service workers

including 4,000 CUPE members won the Munroe settlement, a contract that provides them with decent wages, improved working conditions and job security provisions. This contract brought equity and stability to this sector, ensuring improved services for clients who are among the most vulnerable members of our community.

We condemn any attempt by the Campbell government to roll back signed collective agreements, ONeill says. Further, we are committed to working in solidarity with other unions and social groups to do whatever we must to protect our jobs and our communities from the Liberals plan for economic devastation.


Media, please contact
Barry ONeill, CUPE BC president - 604-916-8444
Teresa Marshall, CUPE communications - 604-291-1940