Social Services: Developmental Services

Bayshore News: Allegations Fly in Lodge Strike

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Friday, September 28, 2012 by  Bayshore News Staff

Participation Lodge claims striking staff scream at replacement workers, OPSEU disgusted by comments

The Executive Director of Participation Lodge is considering calling in the OPP to see if charges can be laid against striking OPSEU members.

Elaine Kerr tells Bayshore Broadcasting News replacement workers took some clients on an outing on Thursday, just to get out of the Lodge and get a coffee.

She claims everything was fine when they left, but when they returned they were confronted by angry protestors.

Kerr says it was a nightmare for the Participation Lodge residents who were screamed at, sworn at, and peaked at thru the windows of their vehicle.

She says the protest was across the line, and many clients were visibly shaken by the OPSEU members.

But the OPSEU workers are disgusted with management at Participation Lodge.

Deb Powell --- who does not work at the facility, but is a member of OPSEU -- says the Manager at Participation Lodge is exaggerating action on Thursday's picket line.

Powell challenges Elaine Kerr to come down to the picket line to see what's actually happening.

Powell claims she was on the picket line on Thursday, and the striking workers were not displaying any violence.

Powell admits they did stop a van carrying clients back to the Lodge after an outing -- but she adds they were aware those clients would be in there so they didn't stop the van for as long as they would if this was a different workplace strike.

Powell admits people were peering in the windows of the van, but she says that's because they wanted to see if replacement workers were being brought in.

She says it's disgusting that Kerr is using the clients of Participation Lodge to shield those workers as they come in.

When asked why they couldn't simply wait for people to get out of the van to see if "scabs" were being brought in, Powell says the driveway is too long and the facility is too far back from the picket line on the road to see.

Powell also asks Kerr if their actions were so violent, why didn't she call the police?

Powell adds they welcome the police to come to the picket line to see for themselves what's going on.

No talks have been held since the strike began on Saturday.

Powell says there is one easy way to end this dispute --- and that is for management to get back to negotiations with the workers.

But she claims Kerr is not interested in coming back to the table.

Kerr has told Bayshore Broadcasting News their last offer of a 1.7 per cent wage hike is their final offer to the OPSEU workers.


What else can you do to help?

OPSEU members of L235 Participation Lodge will be hosting a free barbecue on Saturday September 29more...

Support a picket line
There are picket lines at all three Participation Lodge locations: Holland Centre and St. Francis Place in Owen Sound and Lutheran Manor in Hanover. All support at these picket lines is greatly appreciated!    

Call or email Elaine Kerr, Executive Director of Participation Lodge.  
Elain Kerr's number is 519-794-3201 x224
If she happens not to be at her desk, dial extension 555 for the phone to ring throughout the facility. Someone should pick up...
You can also send Elaine Kerr an email at one, or both, of the following email addresses. Let her know that you support her staff, and that it is time to get back to the table!

Ontario Public Service Employees Union, 100 Lesmill Rd. Toronto, ON M3B 3P8  (416) 443-8888

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