CUPE members vote to accept mediator’s recommendations
Unionized employees of Wood Buffalo Housing (WBH) in Fort McMurray, Alta. voted to accept the recommendations of a mediator on Oct. 16 to end the five-month lock out at the public housing agency.
The lockout, which started May 10, impacted all 46 Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) members working for WBH. The dispute centered on the company’s desire to contract out services conducted by groundskeeping, housekeeping and maintenance employees, says the union.
“After five months on the picket line, our members have fought and won an important battle,” says Judy Collier CUPE, Local 1505 president. “While we didn’t get everything we wanted, our actions made a difference and showed Wood Buffalo Housing that employees are not expendable.”
The mediator’s recommendations saved many of the jobs set to be contracted out, guarantees no further contracting out and increases the severance package for those who are not protected, says Collier.Workers will return to work Oct 23, says the union.