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Joliette, Sunday, November 28, 2004 The strike is now over for the Saint-Jean-de-Matha and Sainte-Ba0074rix municipal employees. After a labour dispute that lasted over twenty months, starting on March 11, 2003, a large majority of members agreed to the special mediators proposal. Such a long strike is always difficult, but our members will go back to work with their heads high, knowing they did what they had to do, said Serge Leboeuf, CUPE national representative.

Indeed, their new work contract provides major job security language. In each municipality, no more than one employee can be laid off, for a maximum period of three months and only in cases of work shortages. Moreover, in such a case, the employer must bridge the gap between the employment insurance benefits and 85%, on average, of the union members usual wages. The members can therefore protect both their work relationship and their income level. Finally, a permanent position is created in each municipality, which will help stabilize the use of staff.

The Sainte-Ba0074rix and Saint-Jean-de-Matha strikes were the longest in CUPEs history in Quebec. They outlasted the Malartic lockout and the Verdun municipal workers labour dispute. Our members will have walked the picket lines for 627 days. This is a very long time and we had hoped that the municipal administrations would be more reasonable and respectful of their employees. But in the end, we gained the protections we needed for our jobs and our standard of living, concluded Claude Ht0075, Assistant Director of CUPE in Quebec.

CUPE represents about 70% of all municipal employees in Quebec. In addition to the municipal sector, CUPE is present in 10 other sectors in Quebec, including health and social services, education, urban transit, utilities, public corporations and Quebec government agencies, and communications. With almost 100,000 members in Quebec, it is the most important FTQ-affiliated union.

This press release and other info can be found on scfp.qc.cas website http://www.scfp.qc.ca

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