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On January 22, CUPE activists and staff joined the picket line of striking transit workers in St. John’s, Newfoundland, who have been on strike since November 4. The employees of Metrobus Transit are fighting concessions to their health benefits.

During the rally, CUPE NL president Wayne Lucas presented a cheque to the members of the Amalgamated Transit Union and spoke to local media about the need to get the dispute settled. Lucas says other CUPE locals across the province have been generous in their support of the strikers.

On January 23, Lucas stated that the workers are being unfairly used as political pawns by the mayor and council, as well as Metrobus Transit managers.

Lucas says, “Instead of being able to celebrate a tentative settlement with the City of St. John’s, the members of Local 1289 are instead faced with inaccurate statements about their settlement. It is totally disingenuous for Mayor O’Keefe to say that the deal just signed with city inside workers hinged on a 50/50 cost-share on health benefits. This issue was not even on the table.”