UFCW Local 832

UFCW Local 832

March 18, 2010 07:01 ET

Solidarity Rally being held in front of CNIB today

Clients who rely on CNIB services want to be heard.

Attention: City Editor, Food/Beverage Editor, Lifestyle Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor WINNIPEG, MB PRESS RELEASE--(Marketwire - March 18, 2010) - The 19 locked-out UFCW Local 832 members at the Canadian Institute for the Blind will have some friends walking the picket line today from 2:30 to 4:30p.m. The Manitoba Federation of Labour sent notification to its affiliates to come out and show some solidarity to the front line workers of the CNIB.

Along with the support of fellow union brothers and sisters, clients who use the services at CNIB are prepared to speak up at the rally. Janet Hunt who is blind and a client at CNIB is upset about the misconceptions about CNIB and she's not alone. Many clients who use the CNIB services are outraged at management and feel that they've acted unprofessionally in locking out the workers. "Many people out there believe the CNIB provides us with the adaptive equipment that we require, but actually we pay for it," said Hunt.

Eric Mackinder another client who uses the CNIB and president of the Alliance of Equality for Blind Canadians is frustrated with the organization and feels that its time the public really knew about how the organization operates. "They have this Teflon coating on them because they're the only game in town, but the public is unaware that there are some serious issues with CNIB and this strike only scratches the surface with how it's being run. When you donate to the CNIB it doesn't stay in Manitoba. It goes to Toronto and is slowly sent back, I think there needs to be a forensic audit done on the organization because I believe more money leaves this province than what stays."

Many of the clients asked to speak with the union in hopes of getting their message out to the public because they feel the public is being mislead about the CNIB.

"If you lose your eyesight tomorrow, you'll have to wait nearly six months before you have the assistance of the CNIB," stated Doreen Demas another client who has relied on the CNIB. "They waited eight months to fill a government funded position for the Occupational Therapy for Children. There are not enough front line workers but there are always enough managers."

CNIB has been questioned on numerous occasions about the amount of high paid managers and executives at the company and that there needs to be more front line workers to assist the blind. "They don't listen to us. They have their own agenda. It was evident in 2007 when they closed down our speciality store only to offer it on a part-time basis later. We've asked them to e-mail us correspondence because we have speech software that reads text on the screen, but they continue to mail us printed material that we can't read," stated Christine Ross another client who is upset with CNIB.

The media is invited to attend the solidarity rally at 3:00p.m. today and to hear the concerns of the workers who have been locked out by the company and to hear from the people who use the services at CNIB.

Contact Information

  • Blake Crothers, Director of Communications, UFCW Local 832
    Primary Phone: 204-480-4930
    Secondary Phone: 204-479-3977
    E-mail: blake.crothers@ufcw832.com