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Health care support workers at the Maples personal care home in Winnipeg have gone on strike, seeking wage parity with workers in the public sector.

Contract negotiations with the employer at the privately owned personal care facility broke off last week after months of discussion.

“The employer has failed to see the need for improved wages,” says CUPE representative Mark Kernaghan. “It seems three years has not changed the employer’s resolve to keep wages down and profits up.”

In 1999, the Maples management locked out the workers after negotiations broke down.

“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,” says Kernaghan.

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