The recent announcement by the Government of New Brunswick to lay off over three thousand workers from CUPE locals 1253 and 2745 is simply a bullying tactic to undermine the solidarity of those picketing. This decision by the Conservative Government highlights a disturbing trend of anti-union behavior.
The lack of compassion that drove this announcement is further worsened by the uncertainty it brings. Education Minister Dominic Cardy said yesterday that he regrets “having to take this step, partly because of the hard work CUPE members have done for us throughout the pandemic” What the Minister fails to understand, however, is that this decision does signal that we are entering a time of uncertainty, one created by the current Government.
Thousands of CUPE NB’s picketers have accepted reduced income in order to strike against the unfair treatment by the Higgs Government. Workers would not feel forced to do so if they were not in need of a new contract, many of which have waited over five years for one. Mackenzie Thomason, the Leader of the NB NDP, responded to this story yesterday stating: “What the Government misunderstands about his situation is that New Brunswick is experiencing a wage shortage, not a labour shortage. The Premier must immediately sign the latest offer from CUPE to guarantee public workers can continue doing the essential work needed by all New Brunswicker’s.”
We continue to invite our members and supporters to join residents of the province in standing in Solidarity with CUPE NB strikers. Their fight for better conditions and respect has and continues to be an inspiration to us all.