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Bradford library strike escalates as tensions erupt in council meeting

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The ongoing strike by staff at the Bradford Library shows no signs of abating, with tensions reaching a boiling point during a council meeting Tuesday night.

Katherine Grzejszczak, President of CUPE Local 905, representing the nearly 40 striking library workers, said Mayor James Leduc's actions were appalling during the meeting.

"It was uncomfortable the way that he barreled through a group of library workers. He phoned the police on us, and when the police showed up, he tried to direct police to leave council chambers, which rightly so, they did not do," she explained.

The heated exchange resulted in the meeting ending prematurely, with less than half of the scheduled speakers having the opportunity to address the council.

Mayor James Leduc defended his actions.

"I asked CUPE not to leave the table. We cannot negotiate at counsel chamber, but we can negotiate at the table. We have been waiting to go back to the table many times, and CUPE will not go back."

The Union is fighting for a $1.35 per hour pay increase, which the Town says isn't possible.

In a release late last month, the Town stated it was committed to working with bargaining teams to come to a resolution, "but there has been little progress and negotiations, and the Union has shown an unwillingness to move from their current position."

Workers have been on strike since July 21, temporarily closing the town's public library.

The strike is set to enter arbitration starting Thursday.

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