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Undeterred by a decision by local health care providers to close their workplace, workers at the Nipissing Area Joint Hospital Laundry Service have negotiated a new contract that includes strengthened job security rights.

The tentative settlement was reached on May 2, 2007.  Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 4384 members are set to vote on the new two-year deal on Tuesday, May 8.

CUPE 4384 president Audrey Dwinnell says the local union approached the negotiations with a “business as usual attitude,” despite the recent announcement to close the facility and move the jobs to Sudbury.

Our goal is to gain community support to keep the laundry open.  Keeping jobs local is a collective fight.  These negotiations and a new contract are a very important part of succeeding in that fight,” said Dwinnell.

General wage increases in each of the two years of the collective agreement, significant improvements to job security in addition to a comprehensive set of agreed -to items, are among the highlights of the new contract

Earlier this week, Dwinnell, other laundry workers, and labour and community allies formed the ‘Keep Jobs Local’ coalition.  The group has scheduled a community meeting for Wednesday, May 16 at 7:00 p.m. at the Best Western (Lakeshore Drive).  Guest speakers at the meeting include North Bay mayor Vic Fedeli and CUPE Ontario president Sid Ryan.