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Local 3966 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, representing more than 120 employees of Richmond Public Library, will hold a one-day strike tomorrow, October 5. The unions job action comes after contract negotiations broke down last week between the union and the Richmond Library Board (represented by the GVRD).

The strike will mean that all Richmond Public Library branches will be closed tomorrow. All branches will reopen as usual on Friday, October 6.

CUPE 3966 Acting President Brian Peaslee says the union is being forced to take job action, and that further escalating job action could take place as early as next week if the employer doesnt return to the table ready to address several key outstanding issues.

Nobody wants a strike, but the Richmond Library Board and its GVRD negotiators are forcing us into taking this action, says Peaslee. Theyre refusing to sign on to the same contract improvements for Richmond Library workers that are being agreed to by employers elsewhere in the Lower Mainland.

Peaslee says while the two sides have agreed on many major issues, including a 7% wage increase over 3 years, they remain far apart on improvements for auxiliary and temporary workers, and hours of work.

Last month, our members voted more than 99% in favour of strike action if thats what it takes to get a fair deal. We hope that our employer comes back to the table ready and gets serious about settling this dispute.

For more information:
Brian Peaslee, 876-3164 or 789-6339
For comment in Cantonese, contact:
Nancy Ma, 821-0980
For comment in Mandarin, contact:
Hsiu-Mei Liao, 275-5876