KELOWNA Getting a deal with the U.S. on softwood lumber got a lot harder when the Campbell Liberals started breaking negotiated contracts with workers, CUPE BC president Barry ONeill said today.
Theyve torn up contracts with health workers and community social service workers. They use legislation to impose deals with nurses and teachers. They ignored the arbitration with the doctors, said ONeill. How can this government possibly think they have any credibility at the negotiating table?
Communities, large and small, could be devastated by this governments failure to negotiate a deal, said ONeill. The combination of job losses, lower economic activity and cuts to basic services are going to push some communities under unless we fight back.
ONeill said it was important for B.C.s largest public sector union to show its support for B.C.s largest private sector union.
Many B.C. communities are dependent on lumber exports to the U.S. The whole B.C. economy will be hit hard. We have to join together and say we wont let this happen to our community, to our province, to our country.
ONeill made his comments from the Okanagan where he is visiting communities and talking to working people about Strong Communities, CUPE BCs campaign to protect communities, and the public services people depend on.
Ron Verzuh, communications representative,