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Winnipeg The 52 members of CUPE Local 796, who work as bus drivers, mechanics and a storeskeeper for the River East School Division, have overwhelmingly voted to reject a tentative deal and are now preparing to strike to prevent contracting out of their work.

These workers are fighting for their jobs, to keep doing their work, CUPE staff rep Rik Panciera said. The School Division is demanding that they accept watered down language on contracting out and these people know their employer wouldnt be asking for this change unless the Division has plans to take away their work.

Panciera said a tentative deal worked out with the River East School Division was overwhelmingly voted down by union members last week.

All these people want is to keep the language that presently exists in the collective agreement on contracting out, he said. If the School Division is serious about its promises not to take away their jobs and not to contract out the work, why is this employer demanding that a clause thats been in the agreement for years must now be changed? Why does this employer prefer to see these employees out on strike?

Another conciliation meeting is scheduled for this Friday, November 3rd.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canadas largest union representing more than 485,000 women and men across the country. In Manitoba, CUPE represents 23,000 members in health care, education, municipalities, social services, utilities, libraries and emergency services.

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For more information, please contact:
Rik Panciera, Staff representative
Canadian Union of Public Employees
Phone: (204) 942-0343 ex. 217

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