Community support growing for striking radio workers
Seven striking Maritime Broadcasting Systems employees took a break from the picket line to collect donations for those in need on the weekend in Saint John.
Published Monday, November 26, 2012 6:37PM AST
Last Updated Monday, November 26, 2012 6:38PM AST
While many Maritimers are getting ready for the holidays, radio employees in Saint John are gearing up for another month on the picket line.
Maritime Broadcasting System workers are heading into their sixth month of being on strike and community support for the employees only seems to be growing.
Gary Stackhouse hosts the morning show at the station in Saint John. Over the weekend, he and the six other striking employees took a break from the picket line to collect donations for those in need.
“I’ve done this for a number of years and filled a 53-foot trailer in eight or ten days,” says Stackhouse. “Now to be able to see a trailer-and-a-half in 48 hours is absolutely amazing.”
Donations raised on the weekend will go toward the city’s uptown and west side food banks, as well as a women’s shelter.
“They help cut down on our financial burden and saves us money on our fiscal budget,” says Elaine Northrup, the executive director of Hestia House. “If we don’t have to purchase food then obviously that’s a cost-saving measure to us.”
During the winter months, the shelter helps women and their families who have stopped into the shelter in the past year, but are now on their own.
“With Christmas dinner, groceries for the month of December, a lot of women struggle financially on the first year on their own, so it’s a direct benefit to our women and the ones who are here,” says Northrup.
Meanwhile, those on the picket line say not much progress has been made in reaching a collective agreement, but they are still hopeful.
“Certainly, with seven people on strike, sometimes they think ‘well, if we wait this out long enough, perhaps it will just go away,’ and I think they realize that’s not going to happen,” says Stackhouse.
He says the workers plan to head back to the bargaining table later this week. He and the rest of the workers are hopeful they will be back on the job by Christmas.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Ashley Dunbar