July 22, 2021
NAPANEE – Shelter workers at the Lennox and Addington Interval House (LAIH) asked their neighbours to support their bargaining following their employer’s refusal to negotiate normally.
“Unifor members who work at Interval House love their jobs, and are committed to safely serving survivors and preventing violence against women and children,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “There is no excuse for this refusal to even negotiate, that’s why these members have taken to the streets this week to ask their wider community to unite with them.”
Negotiations stalled between the employer and Unifor Local 414 while in a conciliation process, and the employer refuses to return to the table and is instead insisting on negotiations by email. Lennox and Addington Interval House (LAIH) is a shelter that serves women and children leaving domestic violence.
Workers are leafletting in Napanee July 21-23, asking members of the community to phone LAIH management and call them back to the bargaining table.
The current collective agreement has been expired for more than one year and covers approximately 20 workers at LAIH. Workers are seeking the same or similar processes and benefits that sister agencies in neighbouring communities have, aiming to address issues of representation, disciplinary actions and job postings.
“Make no mistake, Unifor members are still here to serve community members who need a safe haven from violence at home,” said Gord Currie, Unifor Local 414 President. “But this week, Interval House workers need their community to step up for them, and ask the employer to bargain fairly and respect the job they do.”
Throughout the pandemic, members have often worked short staffed, attempting to maintain a high-level service while the employer left positions unfilled.
“This type of work is more than just a job, it’s a calling. Staff won’t allow the clients to be without support because we are short, so it often means working outside of our job description or taking on more work,” said Brooke Phillips, member of Unifor Local 414 at LAIH. “We are almost always short staff– often for a long time with nothing posted about filling the vacancy. This can be fixed, but we can only have those conversations at the bargaining table.”
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.
To arrange in person, phone or FaceTime interviews or for more information please contact Unifor Communications Representative Sarah McCue at @email or 416-458-3307 (cell).