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BLACK RIVER-MATHESON, Ont. – After two days spent in intense bargaining, negotiators for the employees of Black River-Matheson and the township reached what represented a tentative agreement late Thursday night, with the assistance of an Officer of the Ministry of Labour.

However the agreement remains unsigned and the municipal employees of Black River-Matheson remain locked out because the parties have been unable to agree on the “return to work protocol” – that is, the conditions under which the 15 locked-out workers would return to their jobs.

“For reasons known only to him, the township’s Director of Works and Operations has drawn a line in the sand over the date that employees will return to work,” said Tammy Robinson, spokesperson for the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents the locked out workers.

The union tabled several proposals with regards to a date for workers’ return to work, but all were rejected, Robinson said.

Members met today (Friday) at 10 a.m. for a briefing on the proposed agreement and the proposed terms for a return to work.

“In the absence of any flexibility from the township, our members are left wondering once again what other considerations are clouding the judgment of the township’s leaders,” said Robinson, noting that others have been performing the work that is normally carried out by locked-out township employees.


For more information, contact

Tammy Robinson, CUPE National Representative, 705-971-9455

Mary Unan, CUPE Communications, 647-390-9839