After the Town of Essex Council passed a motion on Monday night to encourage both parties to return to the bargaining table, CUPE representatives reached out to the library chair at the council meeting to resume bargaining for Tuesday or Wednesday, the chair replied, “We are not able to assemble the team.”

“There does not seem to be any urgency on the employer’s part to end this strike that is depriving our community of important library services,” said Lori Wightman, unit chair for CUPE 2974. “In addition to being on strike for a phantom issue created by county council, now the library chair is not able to pull together their team to resume bargaining to resolve the strike – this in spite of the Town of Essex Council urging both parties to resume negotiations to end the strike.”

“The community has been reaching out to their councillors, and town councils are calling for the library board to return to bargaining, but it does not appear the library chair is listening to the rallying cry for this strike to end so residents can have access to their libraries,” continued Wightman. “We will continue to call on council to listen to their community and, tonight, we will be at the Essex County Council meeting to urge them to act and get the board to return to the table to conduct meaningful bargaining and end the strike.”

The 58 frontline library workers have been on strike since June 25.