Labour Council Calls on WLU to Preserve Good Jobs

For immediate release July 6, 2016, 1pm

Kitchener – The Waterloo Regional Labour Council is calling on Wilfrid Laurier University President Max Blouw to stop trying to save money on the backs of its workers and negotiate a fair contract with its unionized custodial staff. Labour Council activists will be joining an information picket and rally at the university this Friday morning.

"The university is attacking its custodial staff by using every legal loophole to contract out their work to lower-paid contractors," said Labour Council President Marc Xuereb. "Laurier's tagline is 'Inspiring Lives.' This kind of conduct doesn't inspire lives: it inspires poverty. That's what you're doing when you replace good jobs with pensions and benefits with precarious jobs that offer no job security and pay below the living wage."
WLU's custodial staff are unionized with the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 926. Their collective agreement with the university expired a year ago, and negotiations have stalled because of the university's determination to eliminate clauses that protect jobs from being contracted out. Already, the university has hired a company to do the same work provided by CUPE members at $12.47/hour, with no benefits.

"The labour movement in Waterloo Region will not stand back and watch as local public institutions destroy good jobs," Xuereb said. "We have been pushing for reforms to the Employment Standards Act and Labour Relations Act to bring about better protections for all workers, unionized or not, and at the same time we need to resist the elimination of jobs that actually have decent working conditions."

For details about Friday's event, and more background on the labour dispute, see

For further comment, contact: 

Marc Xuereb, President
Waterloo Regional Labour Council
mobile: 519-588-0199

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