'The fact that scab labour is being used to carry out the work of persons with disabilities and their job coaches is almost unfathomable.' - Carol Furlong.
St. John's (13 Jan. 2010) - Tensions are rising on the picket lines at the Burin-Marystown Employment Support Board over a decision by authorities to use scab labour.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE/NUPGE), which represents striking workers who provide support services to persons with disabilities, has learned that scabs have been called in to at least one work site.
They are performing cleaning services at the College of the North Atlantic.
"This is a reprehensible act," says NAPE president Carol Furlong.
"It goes to the very heart of collective bargaining and is an action which is seen as deplorable by anyone who believes in the primacy of the bargaining process. In this case, a person with a disability has been laid off due to the strike and someone else has been hired as a replacement," she notes.
"It has become evident that this small group of workers and their clients are seen as disposable. It was evident from the start that there was a lack of understanding or a lack of respect for this group and the work they perform. The fact that scab labour is being used to carry out the work of persons with disabilities and their job coaches is almost unfathomable. Anyone with an ounce of moral integrity would decry this."
The college is owned by the Department of Transportation and Works. The union is calling on government to put a stop to the scab labour and to take steps to get back to the bargaining table and reach a deal with these workers.
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