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Workers rally for members of locked out union

United Steelworkers union (USW) Local 2009 members who have been locked out of their jobs at UFCW 1518 for over a month are not letting employer tactics drive divides between workers – instead, they’re building solidarity with the members of the union that locked them out.

On Saturday, May 14, the 38 locked-out staff will hold a rally supporting all the UFCW 1518 members who aren’t getting the union support they need and deserve because of the ongoing dispute.

The rally will run from 12:00 pm to 12:45 pm at the New Westminster Pier Park, #1 6th Street, New Westminster. Speakers include USW 2009 bargaining team members, UFCW 1518 activists, and other special guests. Media, the public and members of the labour movement are invited to attend.

A recent surge of signatures on a petition demanding an end to the lockout was proof that the average UFCW 1518 member and activist is not on board with their union’s bulldozing mandate.

“We got hundreds and hundreds of messages from grocery store employees, retail staff, health-care and industrial workers represented by UFCW 1518 who are angry about their union’s use of anti-union tactics,” said Al Bieksa, USW Local 2009 President. “They want answers, democracy, and their union to show the same respect they ask of their own employers.”

Over 600 people signed the USW 2009 petition, which Bieksa delivered to UFCW 1518 on Monday, May 8, in an email to the UFCW 1518 leadership. UFCW 1518 has yet to end the lockout, invite union support staff back to the bargaining table, or justify the benefit cuts it has dictated to staff.

“This week’s rally is USW 2009’s way of saying ‘thank you’ to all the UFCW 1518 members who want fairness from their union,” says Bieksa. “The USW 2009 team wants to show these hardworking folks that they’re determined to get a fair agreement with management, so they can get back to helping UFCW 1518 members improve their own working conditions.”

To advance this goal, the locked-out staff ask UFCW 1518 members to raise their democratic voices and demand that UFCW 1518 end the lockout and get back to the table to negotiate a fair contract.

“Dues-paying members are the real union,” adds Bieksa, “The UFCW 1518 membership deserves to see their staff representatives and support staff achieve a fair and respectful agreement. UFCW 1518 needs to fix this situation and do their members right by ending the lockout.”

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For further information:

Al Bieksa, USW Local 2009 President, 604-842-2900, abieksa@usw2009.ca
Brett Barden, USW Communications, 604-445-6956, bbarden@usw.ca

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