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BONFIELD, ONTARIO–(Sept. 10, 2013) – After publicly stating that he’s hopeful a resolution can be worked out to end the six-week Bonfield municipal strike, Mayor Randall McLaren fired five municipal workers today, a provocative tactic designed to intimidate the workers, charges the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing the 16 Bonfield municipal workers.
“While he publicly states that he’s looking forward to seeing the union’s proposal to help reach a deal and end this strike, he comes out and fires one-third of the bargaining unit,” said Steve Boyle, CUPE National Representative. “Instead of a proposal, he will be receiving a labour board complaint for his latest stunt.”
“This Mayor’s latest volley will not help end the strike, in fact it will have the opposite effect,” continued Boyle. “Unfortunately, it is the Bonfield community that will be most affected by the Mayor’s latest tactic as the strike will drag on and residents will be without important public services.” The workers have been on strike since August 1.
The Mayor claims that the five fired workers were preventing two councillors and others (who were trying to participate in a ‘special’ meeting that the Mayor called in very short notice to prevent the public from participating fully) from leaving the Bonfield Parish Hall on August 15. Prior to the attempted August 15 meeting, scheduled to be held at 4:00 p.m. (when most residents were still at work), the Mayor cancelled several meetings and in fact there have been no public meetings since July. “The residents had found out about the meeting and had come to the Parish Hall to let the Mayor know they wanted him to restore public services,” said Boyle. “The residents will be unhappy the Mayor is firing workers without true cause. CUPE will support our members fully and will do what it takes to have the workers reinstated.”
“All along, the Mayor has been trying to break the union and intimidate the workers – that is why our members ended up on strike to defend ourselves,” continued Boyle. “The Mayor’s latest stunt will only prolong the strike.”
CUPE National Representative