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St. Catharines, Ont. – Lincoln County Humane Society workers are on strike to stop management’s attempt to create a two-tier workforce, said the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing 15 humane society workers.

“Our members are animal lovers and are saddened the animals will suffer as we fight for a fair workplace that treats workers equally,” said Dean Mainville, CUPE National Representative for Local 1287. “Management is trying to divide and conquer the workplace by pushing to have new employees paid less and with no benefits.”

“The workers are already overworked and underpaid and with a 25% turnover rate, it will take no time for all of them to be paid less and with no benefits for themselves and their families,” said Mainville.

Management is claiming financial difficulties to justify their unfair demands, but “management cannot punish their own workers for their questionable decisions,” continued Mainville. “After all, it was management who decided to build and raise funding for a spay/neuter clinic that remains idle, most of the time. Essentially, all the resources were diverted to the clinic and now workers are expected to pay for their unfortunate choices.”

In addition to demanding concessions, including wage rollbacks and no benefits for new employees, management threw in more demands during the last day of mediation talks. “Management had no intention of reaching a deal and averting a strike,” said Mainville. “They wanted to push their own workers to strike by throwing in new demands at the last minute. This was designed to provoke their workers to strike and now we’re on the picket lines and the animals in our community are suffering.”

“We offered different solutions to reach a deal but management did not move on any of the outstanding items,” said Mainville. “Our members remain committed to the welfare of the animals and we’re asking the public to support our quest for a fair deal that respects all workers and allows us to provide the quality animal services our community relies on.”


For more information, please contact:

Dean Mainville, CUPE National Representative, 905-741-7541

James Chai, CUPE Communications, 416-292-3999