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After three years of trying to get a new contract, 50 inside city workers in Lachute Québec CUPE 2188 went on strike May. 8.

The local also voted for another one day strike May 15.

“The mayor must understand that we want to be respected and we will not permit the city to attack our working conditions,” said CUPE 2188 vice-president Éric Labonté. “We work hard for the citizens of Lachute and we’re proud of the work we do. And we deserve a fair and reasonable collective agreement.”

When talks begain in 2006 the local was simply looking for the same wage increase as outside workers.

But management came with demands for concessions on job security and seniority for staff on parental leave or modified schedules.

Labour relations were also disturbed when the province privatized the agency responsible for waste disposal in the region, the Régie intermunicipale des déchets.

After the sale - still under investigation by the Québec provincial police - several former managers were hired back to run the newly privatized agency out of their old offices in the basement of city hall.

“It’s unfortunate that as municipal elections approach some politicians are trying to score political points at the expense of white collar workers,” Labonté said.

Full story: Excédés les cols blancs de Lachute déclenchent la grève