Letter: Kingston and District Labour Council condemns termination of L&A shelter workers

A woman striking at Lennox and Addington Interval House on March 30, 2022. After nearly six months of strike action, the workers and management ratified an agreement. Days later, six of those employees were terminated. Photo by Michelle Dorey Forestell.

Editorial note: The following is a submitted statement with details on an upcoming event in support of the former employees at Lennox and Addington Interval House, who were terminated after the ratification of an agreement following a nearly-six-month-long strike. The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Kingstonist.

The Kingston and District Labour Council (KDLC) Executive Committee strongly condemns the April 29 termination of six Lennox and Addington Interval House (LAIH) workers by LAIH management.

The six workers picketed LAIH for five months in a legal strike. After a new contract was ratified, the six workers were fired on the day they returned to work.

“This is not how you heal the wounds,” KDLC President Chris Snooks said in a statement. “These workers have fought to improve working conditions and improve Interval House’s essential services. Having a toxic work environment in a shelter doesn’t make any sense.”

Scabs – “replacement workers” – have kept their jobs. The terminations and management’s aggressive conduct during the strike points towards a union-busting agenda. The KDLC Executive Committee supports efforts of the workers and their union, Unifor Local 414, in fighting these dismissals and saving local jobs.

We are calling on concerned citizens and union members to join us in supporting the LAIH workers.

We are hosting a public rally in Napanee on Saturday, June 4, 2022, at Napanee City Hall, beginning at noon. A fundraiser will be conducted at the rally to raise money for the six fired workers.

“Now is the time to come together and make change,” said Snooks.

Kingston and District Labour Council

The Kingston and District Labour Council (KDLC) represents over 40 unions in the Kingston, Napanee, Lennox and Addington, and Frontenac counties. KDLC was established in 1894 and is affiliated with the Canadian Labour Congress.

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