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Hamilton, Ont. – Mediation talks between the Good Shepherd Women’s Services and their frontline staff broke off yesterday after management refused to address the issue of substandard wages.  The 50 women’s service workers, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), are seeking a living wage, as they are paid 25 to 30 per cent less than other social service workers in surrounding municipalities.

Things are not looking good for our members and the women and children they support every day,” said Andrew Hunter, CUPE 5167 national representative. “Talks broke off because management is not willing to deal with the reality of the situation – Good Shepherd women workers are grossly underpaid.”

A lockout or potential strike on July 14, at 12:01 am, would affect emergency shelter and residential services at Martha House, Mary’s Place and transitional residency at Somerville House.  Good Shepherd Outreach Services for Women and Children located at First Place will also be affected by a strike or lockout.

Martha House and Mary’s Place have already stopped taking in new intakes,” said Hunter. “This tells us that the employer is either planning to lock our members out or they are not planning to move from their current position and pay their workers a decent living wage.  In both cases, it is the clients and the workers who will suffer. Who will help the women and children seeking help from the Good Shepherd, if our members are locked out or are on strike?”

The leadership at Good Shepherd must lead and direct management to do what it takes to prevent a strike that will hurt vulnerable women and children who rely on the Good Shepherd,” continued Hunter. “All we are asking for is a decent and fair wage for women workers who work hard to help other women and children overcome emotional and financial difficulties.”


For further information, please contact:

Andrew Hunter   James Chai   
CUPE National Rep.   CUPECommunications  
905-575-5411   416-292-3999  
905-531-7599 cell