Bayshore News: Allegations Fly in Lodge Strike
Original story URL:
Friday, September 28, 2012 by Bayshore News Staff
Participation Lodge claims striking staff scream at replacement
workers, OPSEU disgusted by comments
The Executive Director of Participation Lodge is considering calling in the OPP
to see if charges can be laid against striking OPSEU members.
Elaine Kerr tells Bayshore Broadcasting News replacement workers took some
clients on an outing on Thursday, just to get out of the Lodge and get a coffee.
She claims everything was fine when they left, but when they returned they were
confronted by angry protestors.
Kerr says it was a nightmare for the Participation Lodge residents who were
screamed at, sworn at, and peaked at thru the windows of their vehicle.
She says the protest was across the line, and many clients were visibly shaken
by the OPSEU members.
But the OPSEU workers are disgusted with management at Participation Lodge.
Deb Powell --- who does not work at the facility, but is a member of OPSEU --
says the Manager at Participation Lodge is exaggerating action on Thursday's
Powell challenges Elaine Kerr to come down to the picket line to see what's
Powell claims she was on the picket line on Thursday, and the striking workers
were not displaying any violence.
Powell admits they did stop a van carrying clients back to the Lodge after an
outing -- but she adds they were aware those clients would be in there so they
didn't stop the van for as long as they would if this was a different workplace
Powell admits people were peering in the windows of the van, but she says that's
because they wanted to see if replacement workers were being brought in.
She says it's disgusting that Kerr is using the clients of Participation Lodge
to shield those workers as they come in.
When asked why they couldn't simply wait for people to get out of the van to see
if "scabs" were being brought in, Powell says the driveway is too long and the
facility is too far back from the picket line on the road to see.
Powell also asks Kerr if their actions were so violent, why didn't she call the
Powell adds they welcome the police to come to the picket line to see for
themselves what's going on.
No talks have been held since the strike began on Saturday.
Powell says there is one easy way to end this dispute --- and that is for
management to get back to negotiations with the workers.
But she claims Kerr is not interested in coming back to the table.
Kerr has told Bayshore Broadcasting News their last offer of a 1.7 per cent wage
hike is their final offer to the OPSEU workers.