Support SEIU Members at McMaster – Strike starts Friday at 6am

Nancy MacBainNews, Political Action

Please see the message below from SEIU, representing Hospitality staff at McMaster. The local has been in bargaining for a new contract and the membership voted down the Employer’s final offer at meetings on January 6th. As a result, SEIU members will be on strike as of 6am on Friday January 7th. The message below outlines the issues in dispute.

As in similar situations in the past, CUPE members are expected to continue to report for work as normal, but the local encourages everyone to join the picket lines in solidarity whenever possible.

Message from SEIU Local 2:

To Hamilton Area Unions and Labour Organisations and allies:

I am writing to inform you of a pending strike at McMaster University by the Hospitality staff who are members of SEIU Local 2. At present picket lines are scheduled go up Friday Jan. 7th at 6am.

For the past few months we have been in negotiations with McMaster University and have reached an impasse at the bargaining table.

The employer, a publicly funded institution, has demanded concessions and roll backs from some of the lowest paid workers at the University. Importantly the administration has asked to remove a job security clause that would then allow them to move to casualize the workforce. This would mean the eventual end of 175 decent paying full and part-time jobs in Hamilton. In essence the administration wants to take these jobs away and create poverty level McJobs in their place.

Several years ago we worked with the University to adopt a living wage policy that would ensure the university paid its staff a living wage and would not contract out our jobs. The new administration wants to throw that out and begin a race to the bottom.

At present, barring a miraculous change of mind by the employer, we are heading into a strike position as of 6am Friday January 7th.

It is sad that an institution funded by public money can see fit to give raises to its top administrators but demands the lowest paid give what little they have.

We are hoping we can count on your support and where possible to ask members to respect our picket lines, where that may not be possible we ask that you request your members who may have to go into McMaster to spend as much time as possible discussing the situation with our members.

Further we will in the near future be calling for a solidarity rally at the picket lines and we hope you will be able to send members from your union or affiliates.

Of course all support on the lines is appreciated.