Strikes are now more frequent and they are longer. They are also necessary. Employers have to know that members are willing to stand up for their rights.
Two of the many difficult strikes we experienced this year have recently been settled: Videotron in Quebec, represented by Locals 2815 and 1417, and Southern Kings Group Home in Prince Edward Island, Local 3373.
It took a 10-month strike to stop Videotron from selling 650 of our CUPE technicians to an independent contractor. It was an important victory. Hundreds of members and unions donated money to help the Videotron strikers. Every member of three Hydro locals and a longshoremans local donated from $2 to $5 a week to the Videotron strikers out of their own pockets. That kind of solidarity helped us win the strike.
Five valiant sisters in P.E.I., members of Local 3373, were on strike for 373 days against the Southern Kings Group Home. These sisters were expected to work 55 hours but were paid for only 44 hours. When the one-year anniversary of the lockout rolled around management threw a celebration party for the scabs. It was the longest strike in P.E.I. history. It was a hard fight, but it is over. The scabs are gone. Our CUPE sisters now have a generous wage settlement, health and dental benefits, time and a half for statutory holidays, and overtime.
Two thousand CUPE members at the University of Montreal, Local 1244, won a wage increase following an 81-day strike, from February 28 to May 19.
In Ontario, 80 members of Local 2295, employees of Hurley Corp, obtained a wage increase for their members after strike action that lasted five weeks.
Workers at Community Living Algoma, members of Local 1880, were locked out from April 23 to May 14. They won improved wages and working conditions for their 400 members.
Maintenance workers and drivers, members of CUPE Local 1618 in Manitoba, gained wage equity after their strike action against the Sunrise School in April.
At the University of B.C., 1800 members of Local 2278, were legislated back to work following a rotating strike that lasted from February 10 to 18 and full strike action on February 24.
Other strikes continue
Workers in Ville de Malartic, in Quebec, represented by Local 4224, have been locked out since April 29, 2002. CUPE Local 4255, representing employees of the Municipality of Saint-Jean-de Matha, and Local 4290, representing employees of the Municipality de Sainte-Beatrix, began strike action on March 11. They are seeking job security and wage increases.
Employees of the Municipality of Arran-Elderslie in Ontario, members of Local 255, have been on strike since May 30, seeking a first contract with improvements to wages, benefits, recognition clause, definition of employee hours of work, overtime and clothing allowances.
Local 3078, Wadena School Division in Saskatchewan, has just completed the 10th day of rotating walkouts. They are opposing concessions and are fighting for benefit and wage equity improvements.
Employees of Simon Fraser University, members of Local 3338, participated in a rotating strike from March 25 to April 8. A settlement has still not been achieved and further strike action is possible.
Members of CUPE Local 4115, employees of Socit des transports de Trois-Rivir0065s, have been on strike since June 6.