Gananoque workers aim to speed up bargaining with unanimous strike vote

    Town workers want to settle new contract with defined hours of work

    GANANOQUE, ON, Sept. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - Gananoque town workers have sent a
clear message to their employer with a 100 per cent vote in favour of strike
action: "Let's pick up the pace of bargaining and get the job done."
    The workers, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
1701, work for the Town of Gananoque in municipal works, recreation and
utility services. They have been without a contract since December 31, 2007,
and voted last night to take strike action if necessary.
    "We have always been there for the Town, day-in and day-out as well as in
emergencies at the drop of a hat," says Amy Parker, Staff Representative for
CUPE 1701. "But we've been working too long without defined hours of work and
it's taking a toll. Our workers simply want to be able to know what their
regular hours of work are going to be. This isn't too much to ask."
    "Let's figure out our regular hours, while keeping emergency hours
separate, as it is in most other municipalities," Parker says.
    Bargaining would have begun in November 2007 but the Town of Gananoque
was dealing with vacancies in their management group that delayed the process,
Parker explains. It was July of this year before both sides finally made it to
the table, and patience is wearing thin. Hours of work remains the biggest
issue, with job security and monetary matters adding to the concerns.
    "Bargaining is going reasonably well, but it's moving too slowly," Parker
says. "The members wanted to send a clear message to the employer that we need
to pick up the pace. Let's build on the headway we're achieved together and
get the job done."

For further information:

For further information: Amy Parker, CUPE Staff Representative, cell
(613) 542-2069 ext. 227; Wayne Truesdell, (613) 382-7064; David Robbins, CUPE
Communications, cell (613) 878-1431

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