Lambton CUPE workers join province wide walkout

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About 300 CUPE workers marched in front of Sarnia Lambton MPP Bob Bailey's office Friday morning as part of a province wide now illegal walkout.

About 300 CUPE workers marched in front of Sarnia Lambton MPP Bob Bailey’s office Friday morning as part of a province wide now illegal walkout.

The province passed back to work legislation, using the notwithstanding clause of the Charter of Rights and Freedom to disregard their right to strike.

The legislation imposes a four year contract with a maximum wage increase of 2.5 per cent. CUPE workers are custodians, educational assistants and secretaries and are the lowest paid education workers in the province with some earning $39,000 a year.

Schools in Lambton closed because of the walk out. It is unclear how long the work action will last.

Workers face fines of $4,000 a day during the walkout – the union faces a $500,000 fine.

The union has said it will pay the penalty.

Meantime, the government is at the Ontario Labour Board trying to get the legislation enforced and the workers back to school.