Thursday, July 26, 2007

Vancouver Librarians -- Walk off the Job!

"Vancouver library workers walked off the job today for the first time in their 77-year history, effectively closing the city's 21 branches.

“This is such an unusual position for library workers to be in, we've never been on strike before, but we've never been in a position where our local issues have been so thoroughly ignored,” said Alex Youngberg, president of CUPE 391, which represents the city's library workers.

The main issue the union is concerned about is achieving pay equity for its female-dominated work force. Ms. Youngberg said that librarians in Toronto, where pay equity was achieved several years ago, earn $7 per hour more than those in Vancouver.

The union has been in a legal strike position since Monday afternoon, but only staged one-hour walkouts at various branches until today. Around 770 union members have started picketing across the city, including the Central branch at library square. They join the over 5,000 municipal workers in Vancouver and North Vancouver who are also on strike.

The library union made a presentation to the Library Board, it's employer, last night on pay equity, but received no response, Ms. Youngberg said, prompting today's strike action. The union has asked the board to come back to the bargaining table but has not yet received a response."

LAURA DRAKE - Globe and Mail Update
July 26, 2007 at 1:42 PM EDT

Pay Equity: A Recipe for Disaster
- a Plutocracy Educational Movies presentation


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