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More than right to strike lost with Bill 21

VANCOUVER – Bill 21 ended two legal strikes but it also ripped apart the bargaining effort that was underway by CUPE Local 116, representing 1,600 trades and services workers at the University of British Columbia.

The local had been working hard to avoid a strike through mediation, but members have now joined teaching assistants and clerical and library support workers in protesting the loss of their bargaining rights.

“The government has stepped in, stopped the bargaining process and forced through legislation in “Big Brother” fashion,” CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill said.

“This has occurred within days of reports that Phillip Hochstein [vice-president of the Independent Contractors] has been pressuring for more government-sponsored contracts,” O’Neill said.

“It seems that UBC, in collusion with the government, has clearly used the students as a pawn in this travesty of people’s rights.”

“With this trampling of labour and human rights, what will be next?” O’Neill asked. “Will freedom of speech be next?”

Assignment Editors: Protest rally at 12 noon today – UBC Gate 1 – Westbrook and University.


Barry O’Neill, CUPE BC President,
(604) 916-8444.