WINDSOR, Ont. – Locals 82 and 543 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing City of Windsor workers, are scheduled for a second round of conciliation talks with the employer next week. Both bargaining units (inside and outside workers) have been without a collective agreement since December 31, 2008.
Even though some improvements were achieved at a previous conciliation meeting in February, no deal has been reached and union leaders are still concerned about the City’s position.
Jim Wood, president of local 82, still hopes to reach a fair deal and avoid any job action that could paralyse the City. “I acknowledge the fact that progress was made during the last meeting but there is still a lot of work to be done,” said Wood. “Our members are serious about the remaining issues and I’m glad to say that our bargaining committee can count on a strong support from the membership.”
On February 17, both locals held a vote and received a strong strike mandate from their members: 97 per cent for local 82 and 95 per cent for local 543.
Jean Fox, president of local 543, was very positive about this outcome. “This sends a clear signal to the employer that we are ready to go all the way to obtain the conditions we deserve,” said Fox. “Our intention has always been to avoid a strike and keep doing our job for the people of Windsor, but the employer will have to come up with a fair deal and stop asking for all these concessions.”
Conciliation talks are scheduled to resume Monday, March 23rd for local 82 and Tuesday, March 24th for local 543.
CUPE local 82 represents 288 full time and 97 part-time workers at the City of Windsor, ranging from road workers to garbage collection workers. Local 543 represents 1400 workers, ranging from clerical to child care workers and health care providers.
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Mike Preston, Recording Secretary, CUPE Local 82: 519-965-1958
Jean Fox, President, CUPE Local 543: 519-562-9045
Luc Tittley, CUPE Communications: 416-910-2389