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TOWNSHIP OF BONFIELD, Ont. – Municipal services in the Township of Bonfield are still under the cloud of a lockout threat after the mayor and town council failed to enter into any meaningful negotiations in mediation talks late last week, choosing instead to table a “take-it-or-leave-it” contract offer with concessions and rollbacks that would hurt services and treat workers unfairly, warned the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing 16 municipal workers in Bonfield.

Management did not come to the table to bargain,” said Steve Boyle, CUPE National representative. “Instead they tabled what they described as a final offer, and told us to take it or they would look at imposing the contract rollbacks unilaterally, and they cancelled all future bargaining dates. Clearly they are trying to bust the union and demoralize workers – but it won’t work.” CUPE presented the employer’s so-called final offer to members over the weekend, and they unanimously rejected it.

From the start of bargaining this employer has continued to demand concessions that would roll back several provisions in the collective agreement, including attacks on seniority, training, employment security, scheduling, vacations, overtime, sick-leave and benefits,” said Boyle. “After ten minutes of mediation, and the same concessions on the table, they have walked away and threatened our members and services – it has to stop. We are calling on residents of Bonfield to contact the mayor and local councillors, to tell them to make a fair contract offer to township workers, and one that protects services.”

A lockout would suspend roads maintenance, landfill and recycling services, applications and issuing of building permits, planning services, parks and recreation, tourism, by-law enforcement, health and safety, and all Township office services.

We urge management to return to the table and enter serious talks to reach a settlement and protect municipal services in Bonfield,” added Boyle. “Threatening workers and imposing cutbacks will only hurt the community, and local politicians need to respect workers and the residents who voted them into office – they must be held accountable.”

For more information, please contact:

Steve Boyle, CUPE National Representative, 705-474-9765, extension 23

Robert Lamoureux, CUPE Communications, 905-739-3999