FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2000
Salvation Army workers reject
LONDON - After 101 days on the picket line, striking
workers at the Salvation Army London Village have rejected the latest
- and likely, final - contract offer from their employer.
The offer included zero, zero, and one-per-cent wage
increases in consecutive years of a three-year deal, the closure of
three programs, and the layoff of 50 out of 130 staff. It was rejected
by 63 per cent of employees.
The rejection could cost them their jobs. On March
17, the Salvation Army vowed to close London Village for good if
workers did not accept the deal.
“We’ve never asked for much - just the right to
be treated with the dignity and respect any person deserves,” said
Diana Smith, president of Local 153 of the Ontario Public Service
Employees Union. “If they close us down, we’ll lose our jobs, but
it’s our clients and their families who will keep on paying the
price for the cold-hearted arrogance of this employer.”
While the employer has cried poor throughout these
negotiations, it has never disclosed the true state of its finances,
“They say the cupboard is bare, but they won’t
open the door,” she said. “What are they hiding?”
London Village doesn’t have to close, Smith said.
“If they want to come back and negotiate seriously
with us, we’re ready right now,” she said. “We’ve been ready
for 101 days.”
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For more information: Diana Smith or Carol Warner
(519) 852-2749; (519) 649-7770