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January 22, 2015

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CUPE responds to United Church’s Naramata Centre closure

BURNABY—In the wake of yesterday’s announcement that the United Church’s Naramata Centre will close permanently, CUPE will seek renewed discussions with Church representatives.

“We have had 30 employees on strike and on a picket line at the United Church’s Naramata Centre for over eight months. This dispute has always been about fair treatment of loyal employees and we will seek fair treatment as part of any closure of operations and discussions on the future of the property,” said Tom O’Leary, CUPE National Servicing Representative.

CUPE BC Secretary-Treasurer Paul Faoro noted CUPE’s 40-year relationship with the Naramata Centre – as a loyal user and promoter of the facilities and a representative of employees there since 1994.  “This is a very sad day for CUPE members, the community and all involved in Naramata. We hope that we can work constructively with the Church to move forward from here.”

The strike by 30 unionized employees at Naramata Centre started in May 2014 in response to the church centre’s plan to replace loyal, long-term staff with lower-paid, non-union positions.

In November, CUPE filed an application to have the United Church and Naramata Centre recognized as a common employer in a bid to bring the church to the bargaining table and take responsibility for its workers. That application remains in front of the Labour Relations Board.

CUPE members remain on the picket line at the Centre. 


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