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After more than 10 months standing strong against an aggressive employer and a long list of concessions, the 16 members of CUPE Local 4616-2, employees of the Municipality of Bonfield, ratified a collective agreement today, ending their strike.
“Our members are so looking forward to getting back to work to serve the residents of our community, to do the jobs they love,” said Gail Ashby, co-chair of the strike committee.
CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn heralded the worker’s victory as proof that fighting back works. “These workers are an inspiration to all working people, who are being told that somehow we are the ones that need to have less for our futures, less for our communities, less for our children. Their courage and strength, standing up for public services, standing against a bullying employer, are a testament to what working people can do when we stand together.”
Since the strike began August 1st, CUPE Ontario and locals across the province have supported the Bonfield workers with several solidarity rallies and visits to picket lines. Locals adopted striking members and held a Christmas celebration for the workers and their families. Just last week, representatives of the local were welcomed as heroes at CUPE Ontario’s annual convention.
“When any local, of any size needs the rest of our union we are there. This strong show of solidarity sent a clear message that we will not allow our members to be starved into submission. This strong show of solidarity moved along to a settlement,” Said Candace Rennick, Secretary Treasure of CUPE Ontario.
The Bonfield workers and their resistance to concessions have received tremendous support from CUPE Locals and other Provincial Divisions all across the country. The support of many other unions from the private and public sector also added to their ability to remain strong and hold the line against concessions.
“Municipal elections will be held across Ontario this fall, and CUPE Ontario members will not stand idly by in the face of concessions and cuts to the public services our members are proud to deliver,” said Misty Gagne, chair of CUPE Ontario’s Municipal Employees Coordinating Committee.
CUPE is Ontario’s community union, with members providing quality public services we all rely on in every part of the province every day. CUPE Ontario members are proud to work in social services, health care, municipalities, school boards, universities and airlines.
For more information, please contact:
Craig Saunders, CUPE Communications, 416-576-7316