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City union calls for White Rock residents' support

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Unionized City of White Rock workers are now warning business owners and residents directly of possible strike action.

In a statement issued Tuesday afternoon, CUPE 402-01 president Mike Guraliuk said letters have been sent “to ensure that their community hears directly from (the union) about why they are considering job action at this time.”

“We don’t want to disrupt services, but until we see concrete progress, we feel we have little choice,” Guraliuk states.

The union’s letter to White Rock residents and businesses explains what services the CUPE workers provide in the city and what the issues are at the bargaining table. It also asks for their support in pressuring the mayor and council.

The threat of strike action has been looming over the city since February, when workers – who have been without a contract since Dec. 31, 2011 – voted 94 per cent in favour of striking if they could not come to an agreement with their employer.

It came closer after two days of mediated talks ended in a stalemate on April 1, prompting the Labour Relations Board to set essential-service levels. That was finalized on April 14, and Guraliuk predicted at that time that 72-hour strike notice would be issued by the week’s end.

Two days later, CUPE spokeswoman Roseanne Moran told Peace Arch News that new talks had been scheduled for the two groups for late this week.

Guraliuk said the mediated meetings are set for April 25-27.

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