<p>CUPE members are escalating the fight to keep services and jobs public, and weve won some important victories.
<li>Congratulations to the members and leaders of HEU in BC who staged a dramatic demonstration against private health care at the end of November. More than 200 health care workers and supporters threw up blockades in a Chilliwack industrial park to stop an American-owned company, K-Bro Linen, from trucking hospital laundry to Calgary to be cleaned at their plant there. Three HEU leaders were arrested for defying the injunction president Fred Muzin, secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt and financial secretary Mary LaPlante, along with a 72 year old Surrey resident. This successful and creative action put a spotlight on Campbells privatization plans, exposing this deal that will see 4 million pounds of hospital linens shipped each year from four Fraser Valley hospitals to a for-profit laundry in Calgary.
</li><li>In Newfoundland, the members of L 3034 who work for the town of Conception Bay South worked hard to convince the mayor and council that the new sewage treatment plant needs to be publicly owned and operated and they won. CUPE members will be trained to run the plant, and the new pipes being installed throughout the town will also be publicly maintained by CUPE members.
</li><li>After a year of phoning, faxing, and boisterous public meetings, Water Watch has won a decisive victory in Toronto. CUPE locals 79 and
416 worked with CUPE staff, the Toronto District Labour Council, environmentalists and community allies to defeat the citys plan for an arms-length water board that would be dominated by political appointees and empowered to pursue privatization.
</li><li>CUPE has organized town hall meetings in Calgary, Halifax and Moncton to get communities talking about the importance of public services and strategies for keeping their communities public. Plans are underway for the next town hall meeting in North Battleford, Saskatchewan.
</li><li>In Ottawa, 12 cleaners who work at Carlingwood Mall won their jobs back in a fight against an anti-union private company. The 12 cleaners had been fired and replaced by non-union workers earning just above minimum wage when the malls cleaning contract changed hands. A mass demonstration and meeting with mall management during our last NEB meeting and a threatened boycott of the mall over Christmas got quick results the workers got their jobs back, they got to keep their severance, and they got a wage increase to boot! Victories dont come any better than that.
CUPE has a new tool in our anti-privatization tool box. P3 Alert is an excellent source of news about how CUPE locals across the country are fighting back against public private partnerships. You can subscribe to it on the CUPE web site, or by contacting the Communications Branch.