NEW WESTMINSTER, BC – Paul Moist, national president of CUPE, and Charles Fleury, national secretary-treasurer, shared a message of solidarity in New Westminster, B.C. on Wednesday, offering support for locked out Southern Railway workers on behalf of the union’s 630,000 members across Canada.
During their visit to the picket line neat the Southern Railway office, the national officers presented CUPE 7000 President Bill Magri with a donation from CUPE National.
“I want to send a message to your employer: if they think in British Columbia in 2015 they’re going to hire scabs, they’re going to break the law, they’re going to continue to spend money at the BC Labour Board and lose—they should take some of that money, come back to the bargaining table, settle our issues and let us get back to work. That’s what we want,” Moist told the crowd.
“For very experienced business people, I don’t get their business plan here: lock you out, and then shipments can’t get in,” added Moist. “They’re losing millions of dollars, and they’ve got to come to the realization that they caused this dispute. Now that we’re on the street, we’ll go back to work when our issues get solved—but not before that.”
Moist and Fleury encouraged the locked out workers to stick together throughout the dispute, reminding them that they are not alone. Apart from COPE 378 and various other unions that have supported CUPE 7000—Moist singled out the Teamsters and Longshoremen for thanks—their national union is there for them, as well.
“We have a saying in CUPE: We will last one day longer than any employer in Canada,” he said. “So whatever resources Bill and Local 7000 need from CUPE, you’ll have them.”