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TORONTO Workers at Sojourn House, a Toronto shelter that provides a place to sleep, food and counselling for refugees, are back on the job following a two-week strike.

Last night, the workers, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 3798-04 voted in favour of a tentative agreement that was achieved at 1:30 a.m. on Thursday morning following intense negotiations between their union and Sojourn House.

Members of the Sojourn House Board of Directors participated in the negotiations. The tough bargaining produced a settlement that will help to restore amicable relations between staff and management, says Paul St. Clair, the president of the Sojourn House board. The Board appreciates the patience of the residents of Sojourn House. We believe that this settlement will improve the services we provide for refugees in Toronto.

We are very happy with the agreement, says Janet Sarpong, a Sojourn House employee and CUPE spokesperson. We had no choice but to go out on strike but with strong support from the community, we achieved what we set out to achieve. We now have a decent contract.

The 25 Sojourn House workers are employed as counsellors, cooks, custodians, and drivers. Many of them are relief workers who cover emergencies and vacations. Sojourn House is a 24-hour operation.

For further information, please contact:

Paul St. Clair
President, Board of Directors
Sojourn House
416-588-6288 ext. 216

Shannon McManus
CUPE Communications
416-292-3999 ext. 222