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(Guelph) - The University of Guelph has asked Labour Minister Chris Stockwell for the power to lock out maintenance and operations staff in a heavy handed approach to labour relations, charges Local 1334 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing 273 operations staff at the university.

“The University of Guelph cannot fund expansion on the backs of workers in contract negotiations,” says Tom Baker, CUPE National Representative. “The largest group of maintenance workers are women, and if this university thinks it can intimidate them into accepting unequal pay for work of equal value, it is in for a surprise these workers are prepared to stand up for their rights, even if it means a lockout.”

The university has refused to deal with equal pay for equal work, further entrenching a longstanding gender bias.

“All we want is fairness,” says Baker. “Because we wont accept a discriminatory deal, the University of Guelph is trying to starve our members into submission.”

Maintenance and Operations staff have been bargaining with the university since early this year. Key issues include improved job security and fair wages, and equal pay for equal work.

The university will be in a position to lock out workers within three weeks.


For further information, please contact:

Kirk Sprague
President, Local 1334
(519) 836-5470
(519) 743-7781 (o)

Tom Baker
CUPE National Rep.
(905) 630-1107 (cell)

Robert Lamoureux
CUPE Communications Rep.
(416) 292-3999 (o)

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