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Some 110 CUPE members who were locked out by Ottawa Carleton Life Skills back in October 1996 have been handed a major pay equity victory by the province’s Pay Equity Commission.

You may recall this nasty lockout, which included the use of scabs to take care of developmentally disabled clients. In March 1997, after a long, cold Ottawa winter on the picket line, the local made monetary concessions to end the lockout and go back to work.

But an Ontario appeals court decision striking down Harris government legislation that rescinded proxy pay equity proved to be good news for these and other workers.

Says CUPE National Rep. Mert McDonald, “relying on the court decision, the union argued the concessions in 1997 were contrary to the proxy provisions of the Pay Equity Act and had to be restored.”

The union has now been informed by the employer that the wages and a statutory holiday which had been given up would be restored.

Justice – even two years later – prevails!

John McCracken