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April 22, 2016 – More than 400 labour activists, allies, and family members joined UFCW Canada Local 1288P members on the picket line at Covered Bridge Potato Chips for a solidarity rally and protest to tell the company to get back to bargaining a fair first contract.
Local 1288P members were forced out on strike on January 5, after the company continued its refusal to bargain a first contract with a living wage, and basic workplace rights including seniority. The workers at Covered Bridge voted to join the union more than two years ago.
On Thursday, hundreds of CUPE New Brunswick activists joined Local 1288P members in front of the plant for a giant solidarity rally. The CUPE activists, including Mark Hancock, CUPE national president, and Danny Légère, the president of CUPE NB, traveled to the Covered Bridge from the CUPE New Brunswick 2016 Convention being held in Fredericton. Adding their solidarity to the day were about a hundred more activists from other New Brunswick Federation of Labour affiliates — all joining to call on the owners of Covered Bridge to stop stalling and to get back to bargaining.
“This company has blatantly refused to recognize the fundamental rights of workers to join a union and to make a fair wage to support themselves and their families,” says UFCW Canada National President Paul Meinema. “This is not only a slap at the members but also at the community which expects that its neighbours, and all workers, should be treated fairly and with respect. Until the members get a fair first contract, they’re asking folks not to buy Covered Bridge Potato Chips.”
You can also support the campaign for fairness at Covered Bridge by sending a message to the company to get back to the bargaining table.