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OSHAWA, Ont. – Employees of three local Oshawa and Whitby pharmacies, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) will be in a legal strike position at 12:01 a.m. on July 1. The workers are fighting for wage parity with other pharmacy workers employed by the same owner.

Our members are paid significantly less than other workers who provide similar services in other pharmacies owned by the same company,” said Megan Nadajewski, vice-president of CUPE 1823.01. “We all work for the same employer, yet some of us are paid almost $3 an hour less – this is unacceptable.” In addition to wage parity, the workers are also fighting to improve their benefits package.

The 14 pharmacy assistants and cashiers work for Medical Pharmacies Ltd., who own and operate several pharmacies in the Durham area. The workers help operate three local pharmacies including Health Centre Pharmacy, Central Pharmacy and Medical Pharmacy in Oshawa and Whitby.

We will be urging the public and doctors to contact our employer and tell them to offer us a fair deal to prevent a strike,” said Nadajewski. The workers voted 100 per cent in favour of a strike if a fair deal is not reached. Their last contract expired on October 31, 2004. Final mediation talks are scheduled for June 28. “Mediation talks will give management a final chance to do the right thing and offer us a fair deal to avert a strike.”

For further information, please contact:
Megan Nadajewski, Vice-President CUPE Local 1823.01, 905-767-6067;
Linda Newman, CUPE National Rep., 905-433-4760;
James Chai, CUPE Communications, 416-292-3999.