Locked out Because of Sick Leave

Allardville, March 20, 2020 –Despite a provincial State of Emergency, the Chaleur Regional Service Commission (CRSC) directors are still refusing to let the Red Pine landfill workers come back to work.

“On Tuesday, we asked the Employer to pause their lockout during the COVID-19 crisis. They refused,” said Serge Plourde, President of CUPE Local 4193.

The 23 workers are locked-out since February because CRSC management wants more power to deny sick leave to workers.

“They say doctors’ notes are required on the first day you call in sick. Top medical experts have all denounced such policies. Why? Because it seriously increases the number of employees working sick,” said Robert LeMoignan, CUPE Servicing Representative.

“The whole world is doing all it can to fight the pandemic. Meanwhile, the CRSC wants to force work policies that aggravate the crisis!” said LeMoignan.

After the province declared a State of Emergency on Thursday, CRSC management posted 6 new “scab” job openings online.

“At least 3 replacement workers (each paid over $15 an hour more than regular workers) are on site. The directors are also paying $300 an hour for the services of an anti-union lawyer from Fredericton,” said LeMoignan.

“They are noticing our members’ experience is necessary to run the site, but they still want to break us. We should be back at work during this crisis. It’s not a time to fool around,” said Plourde.

“These directors – Dayna Carroll and Jocelyne Hachey, have lost all credibility. Their refusal to pause the lockout, during a state of emergency, is making the Chaleur area mayors look like complete fools,” said LeMoignan.