CUPE 410 members walk out once more as employer moves to 'protect assets'
VICTORIA, Jan. 18 /CNW/ - A Greater Victoria Public Library worker who
was suspended two days ago for waiving fines for food bank donations received
a two-day suspension today, prompting a second union walkout and shutdown of
all nine GVPL branches, as well as an unfair labour practices complaint by
CUPE to the Labour Relations Board.
Central branch circulation supervisor Helen Hughes is suspended for today
and Monday. With the employer escalating disciplinary measures against CUPE
410 members, three other workers who have received verbal warnings for waiving
fines for food are also expected to face suspensions.
Earlier today, in its complaint to the LRB, CUPE 410 said that the
waiving of fines is a legal strike activity and that "therefore the employer
cannot retaliate against employees engaged in this lawful strike action."
CUPE 410 president Ed Seedhouse said that it is unfair of the employer to
target and intimidate individual members for a collective union action.
Seedhouse, citing a January 15 letter to him from GVPL chief executive
Barry Holmes, also questioned Holmes's claim that the library, by disciplining
employees in this way, was acting to "protect the library's assets."
"How are fines an asset?" Seedhouse asked. "What about the patrons, the
workers, the books and the materials? Food for fines, as an action, is
actually bringing patrons back to the library in big numbers - and that has to
be considered an asset."
For further information:
For further information: Ed Seedhouse: CUPE 410 president: (250)
588-9565; Tammy Simonds: CUPE representative: (250) 812-7197; Dan Gawthrop:
CUPE Communications: (604) 999-6132; www.cupe.bc.ca