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VANCOUVER – Garbage collected in Surrey, Richmond, Delta, Vancouver and the North Shore may have no where to go if Vancouver’s outside workers decide to act on their 96 per cent vote in favour of strike. Vancouver residents will also lose services from garbage collection and street cleaning to recreation programs, including access to public pools.

CUPE 1004, the union that represents 2000 Vancouver outside workers, including garbage collectors and the workers at the Vancouver Landfill and Southside Transfer station, say they are being forced to take strike action by the employer, which is demanding unreasonable concessions during times of economic prosperity and refusing to address worker concerns.

All we are asking for is a fair contract,” says Mike Jackson, CUPE 1004 President. “Instead, the employer wants to cut benefits and won’t do a thing to stop the exodus of skilled workers from the city.”

Jackson points to the loss of six mechanics last month to other Lower Mainland employers that pay competitive rates, as an example of the extent of the current retention problem. Skilled workers include mechanics, who maintain and repair city equipment and vehicles, plumbers, as well as water and sewage plant operators.

CUPE 1004 is the sixth group of workers in the Lower Mainland to register exceptionally high strike votes. Their strike vote is the highest yet in the region. Currently, almost 8,000 of the region’s 12,000 civic workers are in strike ready position including civic workers in Burnaby, North Vancouver district, North Vancouver Recreation Commission, Delta, and Vancouver.

They have launched a campaign for a fair contract that urges the public to prevent a disruption in civic services by contacting their Mayor and Council via e-mail at http://www.fairnessforcivicworkers.ca

As part of this campaign, civic workers throughout the region can be seen wearing their respective official civic flags to work to show the pride they have in the services they provide.
To see these flags, please visit the campaign website.

For more information, please visit http://www.fairnessforcivicworkers.ca

Contact: Mike Jackson, CUPE 1004 President (Vancouver outside workers), 778-908-8070
 Paul Faoro, CUPE 15, President (Vancouver inside workers), 604-202-1829
 Barry O’Neill, CUPE BC President, 604-340-6768
 Diane Kalen, CUPE Communications, 778-229-0258