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Despite darkening skies, more than 150 CUPE Ontario members, leaders and community supporters sent a clear message to Bonfield municipal workers at a solidarity BBQ on Tuesday, August 13: “You are not alone.”

The lively crowd, which grew as the evening progressed and the forecast rain stayed away, included CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury, CUPE Ontario Secretary-Treasurer Candace Rennick and North Bay CUPE District Council President Henri Giroux.

“You have the support of over 600,000 CUPE members across Canada,” said brother Fleury, bringing greetings and support for the 16 municipal workers on strike in Bonfield. “CUPE supports your fight against concessions and we are with you every step of the way.”

Echoing brother Fleury’s remarks, sister Rennick said: “We will stand by you and provide you with all the resources you need to win this fight.”

Brother Giroux, who helped organize the event, also thanked the community for their continued support for the striking workers.

Supporters came from across the community, as well as from North Bay, Toronto, Barrie and Sudbury, bringing solidarity messages and letting the strikers know that they have the full support of their Ontario sisters and brothers. 

Garth Pigeau, President of CUPE 4616-2 was encouraged by the support shown to his striking members and said, “Solidarity—this is what the union is all about.”

The workers have been on strike since August 1, 2013.