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Updated: County librarians on strike, picket workplaces

After failing to resolve differences at a “last-ditch mediation” last week, 58 Essex County Library workers hit the pickets Saturday morning.

“We’re willing to talk, but management is not willing to give — you can’t sit in the room by yourself,” said Lori Wightman, sub-unit chair for CUPE Local 2974.

It means the doors are shut at 14 county library branches. It also means summer reading clubs catering to everyone from babies to seniors — more than 300 planned programs — are now in jeopardy, on the eve of schools closing for the vacation season.

The big issue, said Wightman, are “clawbacks” demanded by the employer for sick and short-term disability leave.

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