The Durham office of the Canadian Hearing Society is one of 20 in the province that’s been on strike since Monday. Contract talks between the society and the workers’ union, CUPE, broke down over the weekend. CUPE President Fred Hahn was out in the cold Friday with those on the picket line to lend his support. He says they’re worried the agency has lost its direction.

“There are some real concerns here,” said Hahn. “Because this is, of course, an agency that’s focused on culturally deaf, deaf and hard of hearing communities, to provide supports for those communities… We’re quite concerned that this agency is actually changing its direction, that it’s lost its direction. The executive director on the ‘Sunshine List’ is making close to $300,000 a year. Meanwhile, workers have had zero wage increases for four years and they’re facing demands for concessions for rollbacks of their sick leave.”

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