KIRKLAND LAKE – Striking Kirkland Lake Association for Community Living workers received tremendous financial support and solidarity from CUPE social service workers from across Ontario at their annual conference in Toronto over the weekend. “A motion was adopted to support our strike and over $17,000 dollars were raised after CUPE National and CUPE Ontario Division matched contributions from members attending the CUPE Social Service Workers’ Conference,” said Fran Ludwick, president of CUPE Local 3440.
Ten delegates from Local 3440, including Ludwick, attended the annual conference in Toronto over the weekend. Ludwick was also elected to the CUPE ACL Bargaining Committee, representing Northeastern Ontario.
“Through my new position on the provincial bargaining committee representing ACLs in our region, I pledge to continue the efforts of the Fair Wage Campaign for ACL workers and to further our struggle for decent working conditions and benefits, like pension plans and drug benefits,” Ludwick said.
“We were overwhelmed by the support we received from other CUPE Locals and our provincial and national union,” said Ludwick. “Plans were also made for a letter-writing campaign with locals pledging to send letters of support from all over Ontario to our Executive Director and Board of Directors,” added Ludwick.
CUPE Locals also made plans to sponsor a Holiday Rally/Christmas Party to be held December 8th, followed by a fundraising auction, with hundreds of CUPE members from across Ontario expected to travel to Kirkland Lake for the occasion. “We hope we can achieve a settlement before Christmas, but it’s nice to know that our sisters and brothers will help us put presents under the Christmas tree if the strike drags on,” said Ludwick.
“We’ve been inspired and amazed by all the support we received at the conference,” added Ludwick. “Our strength has been boosted and we will stand tall and proud until a fair settlement can be reached.”
The strike by 88 workers at the Kirkland Lake ACL began September 6th. Workers are seeking drug benefits, fair wages and a pension plan.