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Township employees expressed deep dismay at the decision of Black River-Matheson’s mayor and council to deprive local residents of public services by locking workers out of their jobs at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, August 11.

“The mayor and council are causing an unnecessary shutdown of our community’s public services,” said Jennifer Barnett, National Representative for the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and negotiator on behalf of Local 1490, which represents the township’s workers.

“Residents should be able to depend on the services that workers provide. Instead, the mayor and council have chosen to deny the community the services it needs and deserves.”

Facing lockout from their jobs on Monday are workers who serve Black River-Matheson’s residents by:

  • operating and maintaining the township’s cemeteries,
  • caring for public parks,
  • performing building inspections,
  • enforcing local by-laws,
  • maintaining local roads,
  • staffing recreation facilities.

Barnett urged the residents of Black River-Matheson to voice their concerns to council about the shutdown and called on the mayor again to return to the bargaining table to negotiate a fair collective agreement.

“We want to go back to negotiations, as we had planned all along. The employer had even asked us for potential bargaining dates in August and we provided them.

“We had hoped to be at the table, but we can’t negotiate with ourselves,” concluded Barnett.

CUPE Local 1490 represents 17 full-time employees in Black River-Matheson, and five summer students.

For more information, please contact:

Jennifer Barnett, CUPE National Representative, 705-845-9075
Mary Unan, CUPE Communications, 905-739-3999 ext. 379, cell: 647-390-9839