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Frustrated at the lack of progress in conciliation and without a contract since 1993, 150 blue collar workers with the City of Lasalle, Quebec, took strike action on Tuesday, June 30.

“This strike is one of a series of actions we are taking to increase pressure for a settlement,” said Denis Trahan, president of Local 323.

“But we also want to denounce managements decision to deny early retirement to thirty members, pending the signing of a contract. This is barefaced blackmail on the backs of workers who have given a large part of their lives in service to the public,” said Trahan.

Management has denied the employees their right to take early retirement despite a signed agreement with the union.

“This type of attitude on the part of the municipality demonstrates a flagrant lack of sensitivity to the staff who are only looking to leave in peace with the support of retirement funds to which theyve contributed their whole lives” added Trahan. “Were going to do everything we can to avoid harming the public but its clear that managements bad faith bargaining can only poison the situation.”