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Guest speaker: Wayne Samuelson, President of the OFL
GUELPH, Ont. As a strike at the University of Guelph draws near (March 8 is the legal strike date), members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 1334, the trades, maintenance and service workers will hold a solidarity rally on Thursday, March 6 at noon.
We will gather at noon in Branion Plaza (next to the cannon) at University of Guelph. We expect supporters from the university faculty, student body and other unions, as well as from other universities. Ours is not just a fight for CUPE 1334, but for all university workers across the province. If we give in to concessions, then other universities will try and force their workers to accept bad contracts, said Janice Folk-Dawson, president of CUPE 1334.
The university is demanding concessions to CUPE 1334 benefits and pensions that we cannot accept.
In a show of solidarity we expect to be joined at our rally by workers from other universities. We are within an hour of the University of Waterloo, Laurier, University of Toronto, York and Ryerson, many with contracts coming up for renewal, Folk-Dawson explained.
This will be a powerful event with plenty of music, balloons, flags and energetic speakers, including Wayne Samuelson, president of the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL), who understand that we cannot allow our benefits to be whittled away.
CUPE 1334, trades, maintenance, and service workers are the employees who keep the university clean, and operating efficiently.
If we are forced to strike it will be detrimental to the students, staff and faculty who will have to work in an environment that is not being maintained to the standard we expect from our universities.
It will also be embarrassing for the university. Our strike date is March 8 and the week of March 10 is Campus Preview Days when prospective students and their parents visit the university as they consider the university of their choice. As well, the following weekend is College Royal Open House when there will be 30,000 visitors to our campus, Folk-Dawson concluded.
For further information, contact:
Janice Folk-Dawson, President Wendy Forbes
CUPE 1334 CUPE Communications Representative
519-766-8376 (cell) 416-292-3999
519-836-5470 (union office)