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A one-week strike by CUPE Local 108 members at Cole Harbour Place – a recreational facility in Halifax – has resulted in big wage gains for low-paid workers.

Almost half the 45-member bargaining unit was working for $6.50 an hour, treated as ‘part-time’ even though they were working 40 hours a week. The custodians, security guards and operations staff went on strike June 17.

The new contract includes these improvements:

  • salaried employees will see their wages increase 8 per cent over the 10 months.
  • hourly workers got a $1 raise effective July 1, with an additional 50 cents in November and a further 25 cents in April for a total increase of $1.75.
  • all employees received an immediate lump sum payment, starting at $1,250 and moving downward based on hours worked.
  • six employees have been reclassified as permanent part-time and will receive paid benefits. This brings the total to 21.

CUPE representative Larry Power says, “This is a good start for these workers, who have clearly been underpaid. We plan to build on these improvements in the next round of bargaining.”