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September 22, 2011

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Cupe picket lines up at SFU Surrey

SURREY – An expanded picket line by the Canadian Union of Public Employees, as part of the ongoing labour dispute with the Simon Fraser Student Society, is up at SFU Surrey (SFU Surrey Mezzanine, 250-13450 102 Avenue), starting at 830am today. CUPE is asking students, staff, and faculty to respect the picket lines and refuse to cross them. Check Twitter @CUPEsfu and #SFUlockout for updates.

Background

For 74 days, the CUPE Local 3338 members that work for SFU’s student society have been locked out by their employer. The Simon Fraser Student Society Board of Directors walked away from mediated collective bargaining and locked out their staff on July 10. The locked out staff provide valuable services to SFU students. They run the Women’s Centre, General Office, the Out on Campus resource centre for queer students, and various other services to students and clubs at both the Burnaby and Surrey campuses.

CUPE has repeatedly asked the Simon Fraser Student society to end the lockout so collective bargaining can resume. They have refused to end the lockout, and as a result, continue to shut down important student services. CUPE believes the employer is trying to force the staff, by putting them under enormous personal financial strain, to accept an unfair deal. The employer’s last offer demanded wage reductions up to 40 per cent for new employees and the elimination of up to half of the full-time staff positions.

The tactic is dividing the SFU community, damaging the university’s reputation, and putting the livelihoods of this small group of workers at risk.

Today’s expanded picket line is supported by CUPE locals from across the Lower Mainland who are standing in solidarity with the 13 locked out workers.

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