Fourteen, full-time, municipal workers at the Township of Black River-Matheson have been locked-out of their workplace as of Sunday, October 15, mainly over the issue of unequal wages, says CUPE 1490.

“The employer has been pushing a two-tier wage, something we consider fundamentally divisive because it will mean that new members will get less; there’s a possibility that junior employees will as well, and even senior members when they post to job classifications of higher wages,” said Serge Bouchard, president of CUPE 1490, representing the 14 workers. “Two-tier bargaining is unfair to new hires and weakens the union because it undermines union solidarity. For this reason, I’m so proud of the brave members of this bargaining committee who have stood strong against the employer’s proposal for unequal wages among the membership.”

The union is currently calling on the employer to end the lockout.

“We care about the services we deliver and we know that residents depend on our work,” said Bouchard. “That’s why we’re calling on the employer to get back to the table. And we’re calling on council to support us in getting a good deal by letting the employer know that two-tier wages are unacceptable.”