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(Brantford) Brantford library pages are moving closer to an all-out strike, says Andrew Hunter, president of Local 181 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. Hunter made his comment after the local voted overwhelmingly on May 25 in favour of strike action, a step which starts a 17-day countdown to the possibility of a legal strike or lockout.

All of the library staff supports the 11 library pages in their demand for a fair salary and statutory holiday pay, Hunter added. In every section of the library, workers are demonstrating their solidarity by wearing CUPE buttons which proclaim Library Workers Make Libraries Work.

This employer is not treating their staffs demand as seriously as they should. Paying workers $6.45 to $8.00 an hour makes Brantford look bad to the many taxpayers who support Brantfords libraries.

By wearing our union buttons every day, we hope that the general public will ask and learn about the reasons for our possible strike. We believe our friends and neighbours will realize that Brantfords paying their workers so poorly is downright embarrassing, Hunter added. Once a strike begins, Brantford students and general readers will lose out as books pile up and the work of managing our public knowledge resources comes to a halt.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees, Canadas largest union, represents workers employed by both public and private sector organizations in health care, emergency services, education, municipalities, social services, libraries, utilities, transportation and airlines, and front-line water services. Founded in 1963 by the amalgamation of the National Union of Public Service Employees and the National Union of Public Employees, CUPE represents half a million workers, 160,000 of whom are in Ontario.

Duncan Haslam, National Representative