Unionized employees of Wood Buffalo Housing (WBH) in Fort McMurray, AB, voted last night to accept the recommendations of a mediator to end the five-month lockout at the public housing agency.
The lockout, which started May 10th, impacted all 46 CUPE members working for WBH. The dispute centered on the company’s desire to contract out services conducted by groundskeeping, housekeeping and maintenance employees.
CUPE Local 1505 President Judy Collier said she is satisfied with the results.
“After five months on the picket line, our members have fought and won an important battle,” said Collier. “While we didn’t get everything we wanted, our actions made a difference and showed Wood Buffalo Housing that employees are not expendable.”
Collier said the mediator’s recommendations saved many of the jobs set to be contracted out, guarantees no further contracting out, and increases the severance package for those who are not protected. Workers return to work Oct 23.
“In the days to come, the new normal starts at WBH. Many of our members go back to doing what they love – helping residents and serving our community.”
“Lockouts and strikes are challenging, I could not be prouder of our members. They have shown strength, courage and determination against a hostile employer. They’ve stood up for themselves and earned the respect they deserve.”