NELSON The quiet town of Nelson was shaken by a community celebration of public services on Monday that saw over 600 Nelson residents, including hundreds of children, come out to support locked out city workers. Today, the City of Nelson announced that they were finally willing to head back to the table with the assistance of prominent mediator Vince Ready on Monday, June 28, 2004.
Mondays celebrations included a barbeque, music, face-painting, and balloons for every child. After a rally, the participants filed into a march to city council where residents packed Council chambers and dozens gave emotional appeals urging the city to end the lockout, restore city services and negotiate a fair collective agreement that keeps city work public.
CUPEBC President Barry ONeill rallied the crowds and told council to answer the call of those who had elected them and get back to the bargaining table.
Angela Schira, Secretary-Treasurer of the BC Federation of Labour started a chant that carried through the entire march to city hall. What do we want? she said.
A contract, responded the participants.
When do we want it? said Schira.
The first speaker at the Council meeting was CUPE 339 President, Bev Lapointe. I came here tonight and brought a few hundred of my friends with me, said Lapointe. Because we want to stress to you the importance of keeping public service jobs publicly owned and operated.
CUPE 339 has established a web blog to track developments in their struggle to get back to work with a fair collective agreement. Please visit for updates and for the opportunity to add your comments of support at http://lockoutnelson.blogspot.com
We welcome the assistance of mediator Vince Ready and are pleased to be getting back to the bargaining table, says Lapointe. We want to thank all of those that have supported us in getting here.
Community and local support has come from residents, unions and local business.
CUPE 339 was locked-out by the City of Nelson two weeks ago.