CAW Woodingford Lodge Workers Picket for Fair Contract
February 13, 2008
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The CAW Local 636 workers at the Woodingford Lodge nursing homes have taken their fight for a fair contract to the streets of Woodstock Ontario. In the frigid temperatures of the pre-dawn on February 13, 2008, the workers from nursing homes in Woodstock, Ingersoll and Tillsonburg set up picket lines at the new Oxford County administration building in Woodstock. The construction workers honoured the CAW picket line.
Local 593 Plumbers and Pipefitters
"I've talked to my BA and he has told me not to cross. He asked me to find out what is going on and then to give him a call back and we will make our decision then but as far as I know we are supporting your cause."
The 220 CAW members are employed at the Oxford County-owned Woodingford Lodge nursing homes. They have been without a contract for over a year, and while other county employees have received wage increases of more than three per cent a year, these workers are being asked to take a long list of concessions, according the CAW national representative Robert Buchannan.
CAW National Rep.
"They still continue to put the concessions on the table. Concessions on our paid lunch. Concessions on our wages. Concessions on our premiums. Concessions on our sick leave. Concessions on our benefits. At every turn there is a concession on the table and we're just not prepared to bargain that; especially we're not prepared to bargain that when every other working group here who works for the County has got fair contracts with decent things in the contracts."
After halting work for three hours the picket line came down. The workers had made their point according to Unit Chairperson Kelly-Ann Heslinga.
CAW Local 636 Unit Chair
"Their chairperson said they would support us throughout the day but we didn't want them to lose pay for a day so we said "you know what we have made our point. Thanks for your support. You can go ahead and go through."
The pickets then marched to the Oxford County Courthouse where they delayed the County Councillors arriving for the regular Council meeting.
CAW Local 636 Unit Chair
"We've been over a year without a contract. So when you go into County Council let them know that we want them to sit down and bargain a fair contract and not concessions." "Fair enough."
Once the County council meeting began, the picketing workers filled the council chambers making it very clear that they were determined to get a fair contract.
CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."