NORTH BAY and PARRY SOUND – Workers locked out of their jobs by the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) of the District of Nipissing and Parry Sound will be joined on the picket line on Wednesday by France Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt, who is speaking out against the society’s use of replacement workers.
The MPP was invited to the line by North Bay and District Labour Council, whose President Henri Giroux has stated that “‘scab’ labour overwhelmingly threatens the worker-employer relationship.”
“I am not in North Bay to take sides in this labour dispute between Nipissing and Parry Sound children’s aid and its unionized employees. I have too much respect for the bargaining process to do that; to resolve their issues, both sides need to return to negotiations,” said France Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt.
“But I do take a very strong position on the use of temporary replacement workers. We have in Ontario a very robust body of evidence that demonstrates clearly that the use of temporary replacement workers – ‘scabs’ – hurts people, it hurts families and it hurts our communities.
“I have seen the effects of using temporary replacement workers many times before. It can take generations to heal the divisions that are sown when neighbours feel betrayed by neighbours. It can take years and a lot of effort to rebuild the trust between workers and employer.
“Provinces like Quebec and British Columbia have anti-scab legislation for just such reasons. The Minister of Labour, Kevin Flynn has told me many times that he does not support the use of scabs, yet the government is allowing one of their agencies, the Nipissing and Parry Sound children’s aid society, to do just that.”
Debbie Hill, president of Local 2049 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents locked-out workers at the society, welcomed Ms. Gélinas’ contribution to the discussion of replacement workers.
“By hiring replacement workers – double-dipping retirees, former employees who haven’t practised child welfare work in years, and unknown entities from outside the region – Nipissing and Parry Sound CAS is undermining the very services that we are fighting to protect,” said Hill.
Who: France Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt, will join locked-out child protection workers and administrative and support staff of the Children’s Aid Society of the District of Nipissing and Parry Sound, representatives of North Bay and District Labour Council, and other community allies
What: MPP France Gélinas will address the dangers inherent in the use of temporary replacement workers
When: Wednesday, January 4, 11 a.m. to 12 noon
Where: North Bay office of the Children’s Aid Society of the District of Nipissing and Parry Sound, Administration Building, 457 Main Street West, North Bay
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For more information, contact:
Debbie Hill, President, CUPE 2049, 705-358-5887
Fran Bélanger, CUPE National Representative, 705-262-3909
Mary Unan, CUPE Communications, 647-390-9839