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TORONTO A rally in support of striking workers at Sojourn House, a Toronto shelter that provides shelter, food, and counselling for refugees, will take place:

  • When? Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2004 5:00 p.m.
  • Where? at the corner of Bond and Shuter Streets
    Downtown Toronto

The workers, who have been on strike since July 22nd, are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Local 3798-04.

The union met with the employer on Thursday night (July 29th) and talks are scheduled to resume tonight (August 3rd).

We are not asking a lot but we are not going to go backwards, says Janet Sarpong, a Sojourn House employee and member of the bargaining committee. We have told Sojourn House that this strike will end the minute they drop their demands for contract concessions.

The 25 affected workers are employed as counsellors, cooks, custodians, and drivers. Many of them are relief workers who cover emergencies and vacations. Most of the workers earn $13.89 an hour. Sojourn House is a 24-hour operation.

We help people who have come here from all over the world, trying to escape persecution and even torture, says Sarpong. We work hard and we deserve a fair contract.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Some of these workers speak Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Farsi and would be available for interviews in those languages.

For more information, please contact:

Shannon McManus
CUPE Communications
(416) 292-3999, ext. 222
(416) 540-6252