Striking municipal workers in Bonfield dig their heels inThursday, September 12, 2013 by: Kate AdamsThe big guns from Canadian Union of Public Employees joined the striking Bonfield municipal workers for a solidarity rally Thursday to send a strong message to Mayor Randall McLaren that the workers will not back down or be intimidated.
Paul Moist, CUPE National President says it is in the interest of everyone that Council and the employees get back to the bargaining table but make no mistake there will be not movement till the interest of the five members that were fired are dealt with.
“I don’t know how long this will last but we’ll last one day longer than the council of the Town of Bonfield,” he states.
Ontario CUPE President Fred Hahn echoed Moist stating that the Mayor needs to understand that the workers will not be intimidated by bullying tactics.
“They are not going to bow to his bullying tactics whether it be trying to force a collective agreement or by trying to intimidate them by unjustly firing people all that is doing is uniting them and uniting the rest of our movement around them and in fact it will unite the people of this community against him.”
Sid Ryan, President of the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) says firing workers in the middle of a strike has only prolonged the strike and in the end is only hurting the citizens of Bonfield who have paid for services.
He says with 650,000 members and a massive strike fund CUPE can easily support workers indefinitely.
“Clearly he’s not going to defeat CUPE in this regard so it’s in his best interest to find that solution like every other mayor in every other community across Canada does every two years they all find solutions their problems.”
The 16 municipal workers have been on strike since August 1st and the workers say at the heart of the issue are dozens of concessions, including the threat of contracting-out services.