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Wages, retroactivity key issues

EDMONTON Calling their employer unfair and stingy, 120 employees of Northlands have overwhelmingly rejected the last offer of their employer to settle a contract dispute that has dragged on for six months.

The employees, members of CUPE Local 30, rejected the employer’s offer last night.

CUPE President Alex Grimaldi says Northlands employees are upset that a company doing very well financially would skimp on its employees.

“This is an organization that gives subsidies to the millionaires who own the Oilers,” said Grimaldi. “At the same time, they nickel and dime employees, most of whom have been a loyal part of Northlands for over a decade.”

Grimaldi said the two sides are divided on wages and paying for doctors notes in the case of illness. He said employees were also upset that Northlands didnt want to include retroactive pay, given that they have been without a contract for six months.

“By refusing retroactive pay, Northlands wants to claim credit for wage increases, when in fact our members will have worked for the same old rate of pay.”

Grimaldi questioned the Northlands bargaining tactics, “Provoking a contract dispute just before Klondike days will only get the public upset, nobody wants that.