Striking workers to set the record straight | National Union of Public and General Employees

Striking workers to set the record straight

“It’s employers like this one who help maintain the massive gender wage gap in Ontario.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President

Campbellford (11 April 2017) — Striking union members at Community Living Campbellford/Brighton (CLCB) leafleted outside a rally organized by People First Northumberland in Campbellford on April 8.

Workers don't want to strike but will be out until employer offers fair deal

People First, a group that serves as an advisory team to CLCB’s Board of Directors, has plans to protest against members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) who are lawfully picketing outside their workplaces, the union has learned.

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas called People First’s plans “misguided.”

“My members don’t want to be on strike. They want to get back to work, and they truly care about the work they do. But, until their employer comes back to the bargaining table — with a fair deal — they’re on the picket line, which they have the right to be on,” said Thomas. “If People First wants to protest something, they should join us in calling out this employer’s blatant disrespect for both workers and the individuals they provide care to."

Tell Executive Director Nancy Brown to put people first, says Thomas

Nearly 100 OPSEU/NUPGE members at CLCB have been on strike since March 22. Wages and transportation are 2 key sticking points in the negotiations that failed to produce an agreement when the parties last met March 28. CLCB is demanding that the workers accept real wage cuts, and is insisting that staff agree to use their own cars as a condition of employment. The use of personal vehicles has raised concerns of cost, liability, and health and safety.

“The employer is trying to create divisions between members and the people we care for,” said Courtney Huycke, OPSEU Local 316 bargaining team member. “But it isn’t working. The people we care for support us, and their families do, too. We know this because they have been reaching out to us since this strike started.”

Employers like CLCB help maintain gender wage gap

“With Equal Pay Day coming up, this strike is a good reminder that folks who work as caregivers, traditionally considered ‘women’s work,’ still have to fight so much harder for basic rights and decent treatment,” said President Thomas. “It’s employers like this one who help maintain the massive gender wage gap in Ontario.”

OPSEU/NUPGE members at CLCB provide support for adults with intellectual disabilities in Campbellford, Brighton, and the surrounding area.


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 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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