NAPE accuses employer of discrimination against women while managers are paid up to $40 an hour.
St. John's (26 Aug. 2010) - The Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Workers (NAPE/NUPGE) says the province is guilty of discrimination in dragging out strike by a small group of workers in Burin-Marystown who have been off the job since last fall.
Negotiations broke off Monday. The union represents employees of the Burin/Marystown Community Employment and Training Board which provides support-based services to enable persons with disabilities to work in the community. Nearly all are women.
NAPE says it has agreed to concessions to end the dispute — including a concern by government about putting the workers on its classification system — but employer refuses to budge on another key issue - wages.
NAPE president Carol Furlong says the dispute involves an average difference of 40 cents an hour per year over four years.
“What is happening to this group of workers and the disabled clients they serve is an embarrassment to all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians,” she told a news conference. “It should be of particular embarrassment to government that its negotiators would utilize the might of government in an attempt to crush this group of women and to cause permanent unemployment for the clients they serve.”
Furlong says some of the workers’ clients also serve lunches in the school system and some have janitorial duties at the local College of the North Atlantic (CNA) campus. Meanwhile, reports indicate that some managers who are performing duties during the strike are being paid up to $40 an hour.
Furlong is writing to Premier Danny Williams directly to ask him to order negotiators to bargain in good faith. The workers have been on strike since Nov. 24.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE
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