PRESS RELEASE: MARCH 26, 2010

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Back to work Monday for CNIB employees

Unionized workers at the Canadian National Institute for the Blind will be returning to work Monday after ratifying a new three-year deal.

Members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 832 voted 100 per cent in favour of the settlement Thursday The 19 workers, who provide a variety of services including counselling and low-vision services, helping people deal with magnifying aides and other life-skills training, went on strike March 15.

Two hours after the strike began, the workers were locked out by the CNIB, said UFCW spokesman Blake Crothers We had never seen it done before but the workers were locked-out as they couldn't cross the picket line if they chose too," he said by email Friday.

The new contract includes a wage freeze in their first year, a 2.5 per cent increase in the second and a 2 per cent increase in the third. No changes will take place to their long-term disability benefits and the company and the union came to an agreement on a modified sick-leave plan that will entitle them to up to four weeks paid sick time at 100 per cent of their wages and a further 15 weeks at 95 per cent

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