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Altercation on the picket line

Tensions appear to be heating up in an on-going labour dispute in Naramata.

Police in Penticton are investigating allegations of verbal and physical threats made towards picketing CUPE workers by a Naramata Centre manager.

According to CUPE BC Secretary-Treasurer, Paul Faoro, the incident occurred Monday evening on the picket line.

He says CUPE is "extremely troubled" by reports of a manager's aggressive and threatening behaviour on the picket line outside the United Church's Naramata Centre.

"According to witnesses, verbal and physical threats were made against striking CUPE members and this is totally unacceptable", says Faoro.

"The safety of our members and their families and supporters on the picket line is paramount and we will do whatever it takes to legally protect them."

A union tent used by striking members was damaged during the incident.

CUPE members have been on strike at the centre since May.

It says management tensions have risen during the labour dispute.

"No one should be afraid to exercise their legal right to strike," says CUPE national president, Paul Moist.

He says CUPE will be seeking assurances from the United Church that its 627,000 members across the country will be safe from threats and harassment on the picket line.

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