Striking workers holding picket signsLocked out Black River-Matheson municipal workers have overwhelmingly rejected an offer forced on them by the Township and are now ramping up their efforts for a good deal, says CUPE 1490.

“We said it before and we’ll say it again,” said Serge Bouchard, president of CUPE 1490. “We held out this long for a reason – we will not let the Township attack our wages, especially those of the next generation of workers, and that means rejecting the offer they put before us during the forced vote.”

The Township called a forced vote on what they’ve described as their final offer following 14 weeks of the lockout. However, the deal, according to the union, contains less in wages for new hires than previous offers that have been rejected and will only make recruitment and retention an issue. The 14 CUPE 1490 members have made it clear that the key issue is necessary wages improvements at a time of skyrocketing costs of living in northern communities.

“Thirteen members voted ‘no’ to this forced offer,” said Bouchard. “This is absolutely a sign of our resolve and of the support we’re getting from the residents and community organizations. And there’s only more to come. On January 23rd, we’re heading to the Township’s next council meeting to let our elected representatives know that it’s time for a real deal. One that doesn’t save money on the backs of the next generation of workers. One that doesn’t pit us against one another. One that respects and recognizes the work we do for our community.”