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Striking Essex County library workers, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), will be hosting a series of ‘Storytime’ events to thank the community for their ongoing support as the strike enters its third month later this week.

“Our community has been supporting our struggle for a fair contract since day one,” said Lori Wightman, unit chair for CUPE 2974. “Every day, residents support us by visiting the picket line, contacting their councilors, and even signing over 2,000 petitions in 48 hours because they love their libraries and want their libraries open. So, as our strike for fairness enters the third month, library workers want to thank the community by hosting ‘Storytime’ events to show our appreciation for their support all summer long.”

This week, library workers from CUPE 2974 will host ‘Storytime’ thank you events in:

  • Harrow, on Tuesday, August 23 in the park beside the Scout Hall at 9:30 a.m.
  • Tecumseh, on Wednesday, August 24 at Optimist Park in the Pavilion at 10:30 a.m.
  • Amherstburg, on Thursday, August 25 at the Navy Yard Park in the Gazebo at 10:00 a.m.

A thank you ‘Storytime’ event was already held in Leamington this past Saturday with 25 children and families participating. “Families, children and interested participants are encouraged to join us in this community event,” continued Wightman. “We ask you to bring a blanket and your singing voice – we will do the rest and show you how much we miss our jobs and thank you for helping us every step of the way.”

All 14 branches of the Essex County Library have been closed since June 25 after the county pushed workers out on strike over a phantom sick time issue that even management admits is not an issue at the libraries. Management is trying to force workers to accept a new sick plan that will not save any money and cost more to administer. This same sick time proposal was also pushed on the county’s paramedics, but was denied by a neutral third party in an arbitration decision last month.

“All through the summer, our library supporters have been telling us how much they miss us and our libraries,” concluded Wightman. “We feel the same way as well, and this is our small gesture to show our appreciation for our community’s ongoing support and let our little ones enjoy ‘Storytime’ outdoors before the summer is over.”

For more information, please contact:

Lori Wightman
Spokesperson for CUPE 2974

Suanne Hawkins
CUPE National Representative

James Chai
CUPE Communications