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LONDON, ON – The City of London’s ‘inside’ workers, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), are urging management to return to the bargaining table with an improved attitude, prepared to bargain and settle a fair contract so workers can continue to provide the services that London residents rely on.

“While it is certainly encouraging to hear Mayor Brown say that he ‘expects both parties to find a solution’ to avert a service disruption – we hope that his message has been heard loud and clear by city management returning to the bargaining table,” says Shelley Navarroli, president of CUPE 101. “We’ve been prepared from the very beginning to bargain a fair deal, but what we’ve seen, so far, is management being unprepared and unwilling to bargain and, now, seemingly out of touch with how a service disruption will impact London’s residents.”

Navarroli is referring to comments made by city representatives trying to downplay the impact of the city losing the services of 750 ‘inside’ municipal workers if they are forced on the picket line because of management’s inability to reach a fair deal. “The services that our members provide in our community are critical to the daily lives of our residents,” continued Navarroli. “For example, we have over 200 Ontario Works members helping over 19,000 clients and their families, and if there is a service disruption, these types of services will be severely impacted, as well as the city’s construction business that so many workers rely on to provide for their families, which will be stalled without permits or inspections. To imply that there will be ‘a muted effect’ when it comes to people’s livelihood being affected, shows management’s lack of understanding of the importance of the services our members provide to the residents of London.”

“This is the kind of attitude and lack of respect that’s been shown to our members at the bargaining table – which has led us to this critical juncture,” said Navarroli. “But, we are hopeful that with Mayor Brown’s leadership, he can right the ship and have management return to the bargaining table with a change of attitude and focus to achieve a fair contract.”

Mediation talks will take place on May 21 and 22. The workers’ last contract expired on December 31, 2014. “Our members are proud of the services we provide for the city,” concluded Navarroli. “We will be going into mediation talks with one goal in mind – reaching a fair deal to protect services and avoid a disruption.”

CUPE 101 represents over 750 ‘inside’ workers who provide municipal services, including water and waste water administration, finance and administration, building and property standard inspections, by-law enforcement, tourism, traffic management, roads construction management, recreation programs registration, social services, provincial offensive services, streets and traffic lights management, IT services and more. They face a legal lockout or strike deadline of May 23.

For more information, please contact:

Shelley Navarroli
CUPE 101 President

Fred Blake
CUPE National Representative

James Chai
CUPE Communications