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Members of CUPE 72 have been on strike against North Bay Hydro since July 4. The company is trying to take away benefits that workers have enjoyed for as long as anyone remembers.

At present, retirees receive full benefits but the company is demanding that anyone who retires in the future pay 100 per cent of the premiums.

After two weeks on the picket line, the 35 workers offered to send the issue to arbitration. The company refused.

We offered a solution to the impasse, local president Ken Hull said after mediated discussions broke off. Hydro is clearly not interested in restoring full service to the people of North Bay.

Public support for the workers has been strong. A support rally, followed by a family barbeque, is planned for Tuesday, July 30, 2002.

Messages of support can be faxed to strike headquarters at 705-472-1054. Financial contributions should be sent to the North Bay Area Office, 180 Shirreff Avenue, Suite 260, North Bay, Ontario P1B 7K9; telephone 705-474-9765.