Letter to striking workers at the Castlegar Sun

February 9, 2000

Dear CEP 2000 members in Castlegar:

The members of the North Okanagan Labour Council wish to express their appreciation and congratulations to you all for your tremendous fight against Conrad Black's Sterling newspaper chain.

It is a fight, we understand, you are winning, largely due to the great solidarity you are all showing.

The strike at the Castlegar Sun is an important one for the entire province. As the struggle of the workers at the Calgary Herald has important ramifications for the newspaper industry across the country, so the Castlegar Sun strike has ramifications for the industry across this province.

We hope that your efforts will ultimately bring you the decent wages and working conditions you deserve, which have so far been denied to you by the Conrad Black-David Radler empire.

We do know your efforts will benefit the employees at the other newspapers and many other worksites around the province.

As newspaper employees, in particular, see how the Castlegar Sun workers are standing up for themselves against this newspaper giant, they will become more resolved to stand up for their rights, too.

And perhaps, as the Hollinger empire realizes it can't push around and mistreat the employees of one of its smaller papers, it may be less likely to make such unacceptable contract offers at its bigger papers.

Your solidarity is an example for workers across the province.

We have learned of your efforts to launch a strike paper and, again, wish you success. It won't be hard to put out a better product than the people of Castlegar are now receiving.

Spring is coming, the worst of the picketing weather is almost over and please know that you have friends and supporters all over the province and, especially, in the Okanagan.

If there is anything we can do to help, please don't hesitate to call on us.

In solidarity,
Marie Mentz,
North Okanagan Labour Council


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