Canada Employment and Immigration Union -
February 24, 2012

Members Rally in a Snow Storm

On Saturday February 18, 2012 the members of the Montague Claims Processing Center, with an RCMP escort, marched a kilometer in a snow storm to the Down East Mall for a Rally to protest the impending closure of the only EI Claims Processing Center on Prince Edward Island.  More than 200 people gathered to hear politicians and union leaders speak out against the decision to close the center.  Three of the four Island MPs were in attendance, and all spoke.  Noticeably absent was Conservative MP Gail Shea who declined the invitation to attend. The Island’s federal NDP leader was also in attendance.  Provincial politicians, Liberal, Conservative and NDP, as well as municipal leaders spoke out against the decision.  Some of our brothers and sisters from CUPE, UPSE, the PEI Federation of Labour, the Fisherman’s union as well as several components of PSAC and the general public rallied in support.

During the rally members handed out postcards addressed to Minister Finley asking to reverse the decision to close the center.  One thousand post cards were ordered and handed out.  Another thousand had to be ordered because local businesses wanted to have some to hand out to their customers.  The local food bank requested more post cards to hand out to the 150 families they feed every month.

The Guardian newspaper, the Eastern Graphic newspaper as well as CTV news covered the event.  In the evening news report on CTV Maritimes, reporter Dan Viau stated that a job loss of 28 people in the Town of Montague, population 1800 is quite a cut.  He compared it to the City of Toronto with a population of 4 million stating that the same percentage would equal a loss of 60,000 jobs in Toronto.

The members from the processing center made a donation of food to the manager of the food bank after the rally.

The members from CEIU Local 90154 are mobilized and have several activities planned for the coming months.  They’ve said “we may go down, but not without a fight”.

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