CASTLEGAR - The message was loud and clear at Friday’s support rally for striking Castlegar workers – you are NOT alone.
The 34 members of CUPE 2262 have been on the picket lines for more than a month and legally on strike since August. The city so far refuses to return to the bargaining table.
The local and the United Steelworkers Local 480 co-hosted a rally outside city hall. Close to 100 people turned up in the middle of the day to pledge their continued support.
Union after union called for the mayor and council to return to the bargaining table to settle the first Castlegar city strike in 60 years.
CUPE National Servicing Representative Lori Sutherland told the crowd it’s “not acceptable that we are out on the picket line for more than five weeks. We need to get back to the table to work out the last couple of outstanding issues.”
United Steelworkers Local 480 president Armindo deMedeiros told a cheering crowd, “In Castlegar they promote respectful workplaces and then they turn around and put the union in a position where they have to take strike action. I say shame, shame on you.”
Local media reported that Castlegar Mayor Lawrence Chernoff refused to comment, saying only that demonstrations of support for the striking workers ‘isn’t helping the situation.’