On February 15, the Township of Black River-Matheson issued a trespass notice excluding the 14 striking members of CUPE Local 1490 from three municipal locations. Initially, the notice also excluded “members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees” and “employees from the Canadian Union of Public Employees”.

That meant CUPE members living in Black River-Matheson who are not members of Local 1490 could be charged for entering any one of these three locations. But, following media attention about CUPE’s intention to challenge this improper and dangerous move, the Township rescinded the part of the order that would let it apply to all CUPE members, and clarified that emergency personnel would be allowed to attend to calls at the three sites.

This is a sign that public pressure works – and now we need to keep pushing the Township to scrap the trespass order completely.

Black River-Matheson: Stop Criminalizing Workers!

Dear Mayor Politics and Councillors,

I’m writing to express my disappointment that the Township would criminalize workers.

CUPE Local 1490 is engaged in a legal strike and they’re making a legitimate call for better wages for workers who deliver important services. They absolutely do not deserve to be threatened with criminalization for engaging in their constitutionally-protected right to protest.

The trespass notice also emboldens anti-union elements, a real concern following incidents last week where equipment operators were hit by different scabs driving trucks through picket lines on Wednesday and Thursday.

This is just the latest act of disrespect in a long line of disheartening moves from this Township, like when a council meeting was cancelled at the last minute.

There’s no way we can just let this trespass notice stand without the full force of our opposition.

We call on the Township to respect workers and scrap efforts to criminalize them.


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