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Victoria, B.C., library workers stage walkout over suspension

From the Times Colonist:

Unionized workers from the Greater Victoria Public Library were off the job yesterday to protest the suspension of a colleague, said union spokesman Ed Seedhouse.

The job action closed all nine branches for the day.

“This is in reaction to action by management, it wasn’t planned in advance,” said Seedhouse, a member of Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 410. “One of our members has been in our opinion, illegally, but certainly unfairly, suspended for a day for taking part in lawful strike action.”

Seedhouse said the suspension is linked to a union/management dispute late last year over who would operate the Food for Fines program — an initiative launched by the union to allow for reductions in overdue fines in exchange for a food bank donation. Library management argued the union did not have the authority to waive fines, but said the program was a good idea and would be continued by managers.