Support workers strike at Open Learning building

Devan C. Tasa, News Editor Ω

Members of CUPE 4879 rally in front of TRU’s Open Learning building on Oct. 16. – Photo by Devan C. Tasa

Support staff union members employed in the Open Learning building set up picket lines on Tuesday, Oct. 16.

Approximately 75 members of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 4879 took signs and marched in front of the building from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The union is concerned about stagnant wages in the face of inflation, increased costs such as parking and job security.

At noon, the members gathered to chant (“It’s true. It’s true. TRU works because we do.”) and sang labour songs, including “Solidarity Forever.”

The president of the Fédération Étudiante Collégiale du Québec, a student union that was involved in the Quebec student strikes, encouraged the strikers.

“Continue your good job and keep hope that you’re going to find a solution,” Éliane Laberge told them. “Never lose your hope, even when it’s difficult.”

CUPE 4879 president Lois Rugg thanked the union members for their support.

“A big cheer for the negotiations committee that’s going to be meeting on Thursday,” she told the crowd. “Let’s give them a hand and our full support.”

The union and the university will meet to negotiate on Oct. 18 and 19. Negotiations have been ongoing since 2010.