CUPE Local 1356 Blog

Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1356. We have three Collective Agreements as Local 1356, 1356-01, and 1356-02. The membership is comprised of the full-time and part-time workers of York University the Local website is at This Blog will include Local information and information garnered from sources other Universities, Colleges, Post Secondary/Tertiary Education and news sources supplying information.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Lakehead University Strike Update

May 05, 2005, 1:55 p.m. EST
As the CAW’s CONTACT newsletter went to press, the strike at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario was entering its fourth week with CAW Local 229 members steadfastly opposed to administration plans to contract out many of their jobs.

The CAW represents 60 workers at Lakehead including custodians, grounds workers and maintenance staff.

It’s a very difficult dispute with the university bringing in scabs to handle custodial work. Some of the scabs are local, but others are brought in each week from Manitoba. At least some are staying on campus overnight. In a letter to the union the dean of the university is denying scabs are housed at the university.

Bob Chernecki, assistant to the CAW president, said it’s an “absolute disgrace that the Ontario government has not stepped in to end this dispute. For a publicly run institution, largely funded by the Ontario government, it’s unconscionable to use public money to bring in scabs from Manitoba to do the work of these workers,” Chernecki said.

CAW national representative Tom Murphy said there was a tremendous response from CAW Local 1075 members to the fight by the striking workers. On April 29 the Bombardier plant, where Local 1075 members work, was shut down in solidarity with the striking university workers. “It definitely gave the picketers a boost,” said Murphy. More shut downs are planned in the city in support of the striking workers.

CAW Local 229 president Any Savela said the striking workers are getting tremendous support in the community including many groups in Thunder Bay that are cancelling events planned at the university. “The university’s anti-union actions will not be tolerated by this community,” said Savela.

CAW president Buzz Hargrove has contacted Ontario Labour Minister Chris Bentley and demanded his government step in.

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