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Qub0065c City, Thursday, February 19, 2004 Taking advantage of the meeting between Yvon Marcoux, Transport Minister and the Association du transport urbain du Qub0065c (ATUQ), over 400 CUPE members from the transportation sector held a demonstration this morning in front of the Delta Hotel to express their concern about the Ministers plans for the public transit system.

The workers reject any attempt to privatize public transit in Qub0065c and argue in support of maintaining the public service system. The transportation companies problem is simply a flagrant lack of funding. Since the Qub0065c Government disengagement in 1992, the Socit de transport de Montra006c, alone, has recorded shortfalls close to $1 billion (from 1995 to 2005). Qub0065c has created this impasse and employees shouldnt have to pay the price, said Claude Benot002c President of CUPE 1983.

For CUPE, neither privatization nor public-private partnerships offer a viable long-term solution. We risk seeing our expertise wasted, the public service eroded and networks neglected, while workers become poorer and the cost of using public transit more expensive. The goal of private enterprise is not to serve the public, but to make profits. Public transit is a service for the public and must remain public! added Carole Denis, Vice-President of CUPEs transportation sector.

Union members working in the transportation sector in Qub0065c City, Montra006c, Longueuil, Trois-Rivir0065s, Sherbrooke, Ville de Saguenay, Cht0065auguay and Joliette/Terrebonne participated in todays demonstration. CUPE also warned Minister Marcoux that other actions will be taken over the next few weeks if he doesnt agree to maintain and develop the public urban transit network.

CUPE represents some 6,500 members in urban transportation in Qub0065c including drivers and administrative, technical and professional staff and is also active in 10 other sectors such as health and social services, education, municipalities, air transportation and communications. With close to 100,000 members in Qub0065c, CUPE is the largest FTQ affiliate

This press release and other information are posted on the Internet at scfp.qc.ca

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