As they hit Day 27 of their strike, employees of the Fort Frances and District Association of Community Living are garnering support from other unions here.
CUPE Local #65 members received a cheque Monday from CEP #92, which represents mill employees here, and also have had many supporters join them on the picket lines as they continue to demand a wage increase and pension plan.
“We’ve had a lot of support on the lines, too, from other CUPE #65 members,” noted president Gwen Miller.
In fact, members of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation will join ACL workers on the picket line today from 4-5 p.m. in a show of support.
The employees—who have set up their strike headquarters across from the ACL housing complex on Hudson Drive—also claim that clients are suffering because of the walkout.
“I can tell you it’s not business as usual,” noted Miller. “The clients don’t understand why we’re not there and why we’re not working with them.
“In many cases, we’re like family.”
But still no talks have been scheduled between the union and administration.
“It’ll last as long as it takes. We have a definite commitment from our workers on that,” vowed Miller.
Meanwhile, a looming strike by Family and Children’s Services employees here may have been averted with a tentative agreement.
“We had two days of conciliation on May 23-24 and we arrived at a tentative agreement, which [was] ratified by the board of directors on May 29,” said FACS executive director Rita Chenier.
“It will go to a full union vote this weekend,” she added. “Both parties, I think, were satisfied with the collective agreement.
“I don’t really know what to expect for sure but obviously if the negotiating team reached a tentative agreement, we felt it was satisfactory,” she added.
Details of the tentative agreement were not released but wages were reported to have been one of the main issues.