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(Toronto) - The union representing employees at JVS, a Jewish social service agency, has filed an Unfair Labour Practice charge with the Ontario Labour Board, just one day before mediated talks aimed at averting a strike.

CUPE Local 2137 filed the charges, after a letter from the President of the JVS Board of Directors was mailed to the homes of every unionized employee, urging them not to vote for a strike.

Says CUPE National Rep. Joan Stephenson, This kind of communication with union members two days before a strike deadline is explicitly prohibited by the provinces labour laws.

Frankly, I am shocked that this employer would stoop so low, says Stephenson.

The letter from the JVS president goes on to state that, If there is a strike, your wages and benefits will be discontinued. This is nothing short of threats and intimidation, says the CUPE Rep.

There are several major issues still outstanding, including incredibly an employer demand for concessions to the workers Jewish Holidays. JVS was founded as a Jewish organization in 1947, offering assistance to survivors of the Nazi Holocaust new to Canada.

Wages are also a major issue. The employer is asking for what amounts to a three-year wage freeze.

Both sides are set to meet with a Mediator from the Ministry of Labour tomorrow, October 26.

The 80 members of CUPE Local 2137, who provide job counselling, educational and vocational services, along with a long list of other services, have set a strike deadline of Friday, October 27th.

For information:
Joan Stephenson, CUPE National Rep.
(416) 292-3999 (o)
Tia De Agazio, President, CUPE Local 2137
(416) 588-7907 (h)
John McCracken, CUPE Communications Rep.
(416) 200-6126 (Cell), (905) 508-6391 (h)

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