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WINNIPEGHealth care support workers at the Maples Personal Care Home have gone on strike to support their contract demands. The Union presented an offer earlier today that was rejected by Maples management. (The strike started at 4 p.m. – 500 Mandalay Drive, off Jefferson Avenue.)

Contract negotiations with the employer at the privately owned personal care facility had achieved no progress after months of discussion.

According to Mark Kernaghan, CUPE Representative for the workers at the Maples, “The employer has failed to see the need for improved wages, between what the members make at Maples and health care workers earn in other facilities. It seems three years has not changed the employers resolve to keep wages down and profits up.”

In 1999, the Maples management locked out the workers when negotiations had not reached any agreement.

“Basically the workers only want what other health care workers in public facilities are earning. It’s only fair, but this employer has consistently refused to provide adequate wages and benefits, such as a pension and a long term disability plan,” Kernaghan added.

“Though we were in a strike position as of October 20th, we continued to meet to try to find an equitable settlement. Nothing we did was good enough,” said Kernaghan.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canada’s largest union representing more than a half-million women and men. In Manitoba, CUPE represents 24,000 members in health care, education, municipalities, social services, childcare, utilities, libraries and emergency services.

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For information, contact:

Mark Kernaghan, National Representative, (204) 942-0343, ext. 216

Dennis Lewycky, Research/Communications Representative, 942-0343, ext. 298