CAMPBELLTON, NB – The Red Cross Home Support Workers, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) local 4598, are expanding their strike action to the Campbellton area this morning.
“The Lord Government forces one hundred Red Cross Home Support Workers on the picket line this morning’, said Louise Thibodeau, CUPE representative.
“At first, we decided to keep the strike action in the Bathurst area. We didn’t want to cause too much pain to our clients. We know that they need our services and care. But the attitude of the Government who choose to ignore this strike is forcing us to expand our action”, explained Louise Thibodeau.
“We all know that the real issue is that the Provincial government refuses to adequately fund home care services, explained Thibodeau. The Government is deliberately keeping a group of women on the poverty line by paying low wages”.
The main issues are the wages and the benefits. A Red Cross Home Support Worker with ten-year experience earns $8.29 an hour.
CUPE Local 4598 has been without a collective agreement for more than 2 years. In a last effort to resolve the strike, the Union has asked the Red Cross to take this dispute to binding arbitration but the Employer refused the offer.
CUPE Local 4598 represents 300 Home Support Workers from Richibouctou, Miramichi, Acadian Peninsula, Bathurst, Campbellton, Edmundston and Grand Falls. The Locals in Bathurst and Campbellton are now on strike.
The strikers have erected a picket line in front of the Red Cross office, 5 Adams Street in Campbellton.
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