Media advisory - Strike looms at University of Guelph; Solidarity rally to support CUPE 1334 workers



    Guest speaker:  Wayne Samuelson, President of the OFL

    GUELPH, ON, March 4 /CNW Telbec/ - 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:

For further information: Janice Folk-Dawson, President, CUPE 1334, (519)
766-8376 (cell), (519) 836-5470 (union office); Wendy Forbes, CUPE
Communications Representative, (416) 292-3999

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Canadian Union of Public Employees

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