TORONTO, June 24 - The union representing 6,800 “outside” workers in the city of Toronto has worked through the night on a new contract offer in an attempt to avert a strike. The union was in a legal strike position at 12:01 a.m. this morning, but announced late last night that it was offering to extend the deadline by several hours.
“We worked through the night, preparing a comprehensive new proposal to give to the employer,” said Brian Cochrane, president of the Toronto Civic Employees’ Union, Local 416 (CUPE). “It is sitting with them now, they’ve had it for the last few hours, and it’s really up to them as to whether they want to avoid a work stoppage. We need to see some movement from the City here. The Mayor and the Deputy Mayor have to stop making unhelpful, misleading comments and contribute something constructive to this situation. So far, they have given us every indication that they want a strike. Out of a sense of responsibility to our members and to the public, we’ve made a big effort here to try and bring the parties closer together. We await the City’s response to our package - that will tell us whether they are at all serious about avoiding disruption in Toronto.”
Local 416 represents 6,800 water and waste-water workers, sanitation workers, paramedics (EMS), parks and recreation, roads and transportation workers. Local 416 also represents an additional 2,300 library workers who are in a legal strike position on July 4th.
CUPE represents half a million working women and men in Canada, many of whom work in the municipal, health care, and university sectors.
For further information: Andrea Addario, CUPE Communications, (416) 738-4329