Carleton res fellows vote against union by slim margin

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Photo by Kyle Fazackerley/The Charlatan

The battle to unionize the Residence Fellows at Carleton University is over – for now, at least.

Last night, the residence fellows – who work in the dorms at Carleton – voted 29-28 not to join the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 4600. There were four abstentions.

The group made headlines in late December 2013 when, due to a miscommunication error, CUPE National’s office blocked the group from organizing despite the fact that they had successfully signed 50 per cent of their union cards. In January, CUPE reversed its position and offered support for the residence fellows' union drive.

Organizers and former residence fellows Marina Tronin, Miranda Moores and Shelisa Klassen released the following statement to rabble today:

“We are disappointed with the outcome of the vote however we are optimistic about moving forward. The Residence Fellows got to participate in a truly democratic process and although a union failed, there has been a strong show of support. We believe that Carleton University and the Department of Housing received a strong message from the Residence Fellows and are now fully aware that they will need to make a lot of changes and will need to start supporting their workers. We believe that this process has highlighted some very important structural problems within the department for both student staff and management, and perhaps going forward these issues can begin to be addressed.

Our confidence has not been shaken and we believe that a labour union is the right form of representation for the Residence Fellows. We are committed to continue organizing these workers in the coming year.”

Photo by Kyle Fazackerley/The Charlatan

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