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Woodstock (N.B.) – Members of Local 719 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the Town of Woodstock municipal workers are on the picket lines this morning after being locked out by the municipal council.

It is unfortunate for the citizens of Woodstock that instead of trying to negotiate, the town council decided to lockout its workers”, said Tom Steep, CUPE Representative.

The town came back at the table last night with a demand of concession from the workers’ pension plan. They were only interested in the pension issue asking again to strip the age and service formula from the plan.”

In an unprecedented move, the town also wanted the Local to sign a letter stating there would be no work interruption before the spring. This request would have left the workers without any collective agreement until April.”

According to Steep, such a request is a clear indication that the town did not want an agreement.

CUPE 719 represents 27 employees who work mainly in the Public Works Department and in recreation facilities like the civic centre. CUPE Local 719 members voted 96% in favour of strike action, if needed, to back contract demands. The town, however, chose to lock out the employees first, as it has threatened to do throughout negotiations. The collective agreement expired on December 31, 2008.

For more information, contact:
Tom Steep, CUPE Representative : 506-461-4006
Danielle Savoie, CUPE Communications: 506-381-1966