'The clients with disabilities are innocent victims in this.' - Carol Furlong.
Corner Brook (23 April 2010) - Following a breakdown in negotiations after months of trying to reach an agreement, workers with the Bay St. George Community Employment Corporation have given their union a strike mandate.
Carol Furlong, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE/NUPGE), says the situation comes as no surprise.
"There is no offer of a wage increase and the employer is seeking concessions," Furlong says.
"It appears to us that these negotiations were designed to incite strike action and show a complete lack of understanding of the collective bargaining process."
NAPE represents workers with the corporation who provide support services to persons with disabilities to enable them to hold jobs.
"The clients with disabilities are innocent victims in this," says Furlong. "It appears that the employer has lost sight of what the program is about."
NAPE is calling on the employer to return to the bargaining table with the aid of the provincial department of labour and negotiate a settlement.
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