Vancouver garbage workers prepared to strike - Join 8,000 civic workers in region



    VANCOUVER, June 21 /CNW/ - Garbage collected in Surrey, Richmond, Delta,
Vancouver and the North Shore may have no where to go if Vancouver's outside
workers decide to act on their 96 per cent vote in favour of strike to get a
fair contract. Vancouver residents will also lose services from garbage
collection and street cleaning to recreation programs, including access to
public pools.
    CUPE 1004, the union that represents 2000 Vancouver outside workers,
including garbage collectors and the workers at the Vancouver Landfill and
Southside Transfer station, say they are being forced to take strike action by
the employer, which is demanding unreasonable concessions during times of
economic prosperity and refusing to address worker concerns.
    "All we are asking for is a fair contract," says Mike Jackson, CUPE 1004
President. "Instead, the employer wants to cut benefits and won't do a thing
to stop the exodus of skilled workers from the city."
    Jackson points to the loss of six mechanics last month to other Lower
Mainland employers that pay competitive rates, as an example of the extent of
the current retention problem. Skilled workers include mechanics, who maintain
and repair city equipment and vehicles, plumbers, as well as water and sewage
plant operators.
    CUPE 1004 is the sixth group of workers in the Lower Mainland to register
exceptionally high strike votes. Their strike vote is the highest yet in the
region. Currently, almost 8,000 of the region's 12,000 civic workers are in
strike ready position including civic workers in Burnaby, North Vancouver
district, North Vancouver Recreation Commission, Delta, and Vancouver.
    They have launched a campaign for a fair contract that urges the public
to prevent a disruption in civic services by contacting their Mayor and
Council via e-mail at www.fairnessforcivicworkers.ca
    As part of this campaign, civic workers throughout the region can be seen
wearing their respective official civic flags to work to show the pride they
have in the services they provide. To see these flags, please visit the
campaign website.

    For more information, please visit www.fairnessforcivicworkers.ca




For further information:

For further information: Mike Jackson, CUPE 1004 President (Vancouver
outside workers), (778) 908-8070; Paul Faoro, CUPE 15, President (Vancouver
inside workers), (604) 202-1829; Barry O'Neill, CUPE BC President, (604)
340-6768; Diane Kalen, CUPE Communications, (778) 229-0258

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