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More than 4,000 CUPE members are off the job as members of CUPE 15 (City of Vancouver inside workers) escalated job action to a full-scale strike. The 2,500 Local 15 members are being supported by 1,500 members of CUPE 1004 (Vancouver outside).

Local 15 President Rick Gates says that while many major issues have been resolved at the bargaining table (including wages), the two sides have reached an impasse on the issue of hours of work. Two years ago, Vancouver City Council unilaterally rescinded a compressed work week that had been in place for city hall employees for decades.

Weve bent over backwards at the bargaining table to try to reach a fair compromise, says Gates, but time after time the city has flatly rejected our proposals, refusing to even discuss them with us. Gates says that solidarity among CUPE members and CUPE locals throughout the region is stronger than ever. If City Council members think they can break the union on this or any issue, theyre going to find out theyre dead wrong.

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