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WINNIPEGWorkers in the crisis programmes of the Salvation Army have voted to take strike action to support their bargaining proposals.

On Saturday, the 14 crisis workers at the Mobile Crisis Unit voted 100% to go on strike by November 22nd if there is no progress on their negotiations. The workers are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Local 2348.

The 30 workers at The Haven and Anchorage Men’s and Women’s Program, also represented by CUPE, are in a similar strike position. These workers have not had a contract since September 2000.

According to Mark Kernaghan, CUPE Representative for the workers, “The Salvation Army has constantly delayed bargaining and forced us into a strike position. They have put off meetings and generally delayed negotiations.

“Their excuse is they don’t have the money to pay a fair wage. They agree wages should be increased but they claim the government should provide more funding. The government isn’t the employer and the Salvation Army is responsible for funding. The employer believes they can offload their responsibilities onto government instead of looking at their organization for funding,” added Kernaghan.

The workers are very concerned about the effect of the strike on the clients in their programmes; however, they are resolved that this is the only way to get a fair agreement, considering the way the employer has acted, said Kernaghan.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canada’s largest union representing more than a half-million women and men. In Manitoba, CUPE represents 24,000 members in health care, education, municipalities, social services, childcare, utilities, libraries and emergency services.

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For information, contact:

Mark Kernaghan, National Representative, Phone: (204) 942-0343, ext. 216
Dennis Lewycky, Research/Communications Representative, Phone: 942-0343, ext. 298