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Some 3,500 CUPE members throughout Newfoundland and Labrador are gearing up for strike votes to fight planned wage freezes and job losses in that province.

The 16 locals involved n provincial co-ordinated bargaining voted unanimously this weekend to fund and launch a fight back campaign which will run through to a march 31, 2004 strike deadline.

CUPE is bargaining jointly with our sister union, NAPE (Newfoundland Association of Public and Private Employees), which represents some 15,000 provincial government employees.

CUPE will hold strike votes throughout the province beginning March 1, stage strike schools to prepare members for job action and launch a media advertising blitz featuring TV and radio ads targeting Tory premier Danny Williams plans to attack the public sector.

Division President Wayne Lucas says, Danny Millions, as we like to call him here, is showing his inexperience in dealing with the public sector by suggesting hundreds of jobs could be eliminated.

Were down beyond the bone and into the marrow as it is. He should understand you cant strip away any more of the public service, but what were seeing is his private sector, bottom line mentality.