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St. Catharines, Ontario – Workers at the St. Catharines Museum, members of CUPE Local 1287, are now on strike after an all-day negotiation session failed to secure a settlement. Talks broke off late on Friday. The union has been in a legal strike position since last week.

“Regrettably, this employer was not interested in negotiating a collective agreement with us,” said Steve Leavitt, president of Local 1287. “The lack of movement on the employer’s part has been frankly shocking. We have had to fight it out on every single issue, including getting the employer to agree to even meet with us.”

Key issues under dispute include wages and respect in the workplace. “The climate in the workplace has become increasingly hostile over the last several months,” said Leavitt.

We are asking for a modest wage increase, a fair contract. What a shame that this employer could not see fit to avert a strike.”

Museum employees include gift shop workers, clerical staff, custodians and curatorial staff. The museum features a number of exhibits about local and natural history.

CUPE represents 180,000 working women and men in Ontario, many of whom work for municipalities, hospitals, school boards and universities.


For further information:

- Steve Leavitt, President of CUPE Local 1287, office: 905.685.0001, or cell: 905.325.4855

- Andrea Addario, CUPE Communications, cell: 416.738.4329

- Jill Smyth, CUPE National Representative, office: 905.641.3051