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OTTAWA Premier Bernard Lord and his Tory government should be ashamed of themselves for the way they handled the recent hospital strike, said CUPE national president Judy Darcy today.
I am proud of our CUPE Local 1252 members for winning a settlement that breaks the 1.5 per cent wage increase pattern imposed by the government on public sector contracts, Darcy said.
I am disgusted that the premier would put a gun to the head of 6,000 hospital workers, many of them earning well under the poverty line, to make himself look like a tough guy.
Typical of bullies, this premier has chosen to pick on the lower-paid workers, Darcy said. Now he must be confronted by the full force of the labour movement.

The governments strategy was designed to put the premier back in the political limelight and replace Finance Minister Norm Betts, a man rightly vilified for his bad handling of the long strike of 65 female court stenographers.
By threatening one of the most precious pillars of democracy, the free collective bargaining process and the right to strike, the premier has thrown down a gauntlet to all trade unionists, Darcy added.
A collective agreement may be ratified, a strike may be over she said. But the struggle to restore democracy in this province is just beginning.
The trade union movement now must mobilize all of its strength to restore collective bargaining to New Brunswick. No negotiations with this government can now proceed without the threat of legislation hanging over it, Darcy said.
This is not negotiating. This is not bargaining in good faith, she added. The process has been reduced to a game where the premier pretends that he is rescuing public services. In fact, he is wrestling their rights to the ground and threatening the basic elements of just and civil society.
Contact: Pam Beattie, CUPE National Office, (613) 237-1590 or (613) 761-8796 (cell)