Company refuses third-party arbitration as lock out continues for women's shelter workers

    KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON, June 3 /CNW/ - The 11-day lock out of nearly 50
support workers at Women's Crisis Services of Waterloo Region (formerly known
as Anselma House in Kitchener and Haven House in Cambridge) will continue as
negotiations between the company and CAW broke down yesterday evening. Company
officials said they are not prepared to meet with the union until June 17,
suggesting the lock-out will continue for at least another 2 weeks.
    Despite efforts of the union bargaining committee to offer solutions on
many of the outstanding issues, including shift rotations between shelters,
qualifications requirements and sick day entitlements, the company has made
very little movement, maintaining their initial concessionary position.
Additionally, the company has made no guarantees for full-time work and are
demanding more part-time jobs in all classifications.
    "It is simply outrageous that the employer refuses to recognize the
effort our members have made at the bargaining table to reach a fair
agreement," said Bob Chernecki, assistant to CAW national president Buzz
Hargrove. "They are trying to play hardball with a group of workers that are
among the most vulnerable in the province. It is despicable."
    In response to an earlier proposal made by the union, the WCSWR has
rejected the offer to send all outstanding issues to a third-party
arbitrator - a move union officials say will help settle the dispute in a
timely manner.
    CAW national representative Kim Power said that the company's
unwillingness to work with the bargaining committee to reach a fair settlement
threatens the important support services provided to hundreds of women and
children in the Waterloo Region.
    "The employer's approach to these negotiations has so far been
appalling," said Power. "Most concerning is that the at-risk individuals who
rely on these shelter services are also suffering as a result."
    CAW members at the two WCSWR facilities work as volunteer/education
coordinators, maintenance, nutrition, residential, outreach and youth and
child, clinical support workers for the women and children have been locked
out since May 23.
    The WCSWR has not suffered any recent funding cuts and has yet to provide
any justification for the demanded concessions.

For further information:

For further information: please call CAW National Representative Kim
Power, (cell) (519) 636-6546, CAW Communications Shannon Devine, (cell) (416)
302-1699 or Angelo DiCaro, (cell) (416) 606-6311

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Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW)

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