GUELPH, Ont. – Guelph library, inside and outside municipal workers are on strike to protect public services. The 560 workers, who are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), walked out at 12:01 am on Wednesday, February 15th.
“We are on strike to protect the future of public services in Guelph,” said Mark Charboneau, CUPE national representative. “There is only one reason the city is refusing to address the issue of contracting out. They want to leave the door open for future privatization.”
The issue of contracting out was highlighted recently when the city tried to contract out the Wet Dry Plus program last year. After an intense campaign that showed public workers are more efficient and effective than the private options, the city kept the program in-house.
“It is clear to our members that the city will continue to try and contract out public services,” said Charboneau. “It is critical that we have better protection against contracting out, because our job security is the public’s service guarantee.”
The workers on strike are members of CUPE Local 241, CUPE Local 973 and CUPE Local 1946. Members of Local 241 work in public works, parks and recreation, water treatment, wastewater treatment, traffic and the wet-dry plant, while members of Local 973 provide technical and clerical services at City Hall, such as building inspection, parking services, community services, taxation, recreation centres and other services. Members of Local 1946 work as librarians, library assistants and clerical staff at the main library branch and several satellite branches in the city.
“We had no choice but to go on strike to defend public services,” said Charboneau. “We are urging Guelph residents to call the mayor and their councillors to tell them to offer a fair contract that protects public services in Guelph.”
For more information, please contact:
Mark Charboneau, CUPE National Representative - 519-242-3598 (cell)
James Chai, CUPE Communications - 416-292-3999