OTTAWA, Ont. – A full 97 per cent of OC Transpo supervisors and special constables voted last night to take strike action if necessary, says their union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
“We voted to take strike action if we have to,” says Wayne Watts, President of CUPE 5500. “But we don’t want to. We want to reach a fair deal before any work stoppage occurs. So, let’s get serious in bargaining and come to a reasonable deal.”
Watts says the union is seeking a fair deal, with a reasonable wage increase to balance out the increased cost of living. Watts says the workers are refusing to give in to employer demands of poorer working conditions and reduced benefits.
“It is unacceptable for the City to try to solve its budget problems on the backs of the people who keep Ottawa moving,” says Watts.
CUPE 5500 represents 140 workers who serve as supervisors and special constables for OC Transpo. Garage Supervisors coordinate and regulate the work done by mechanics to maintain fleet vehicles; Route Supervisors work in the field monitoring transit service schedules and quality. Special Constables work to ensure passenger security.
“The City of Ottawa can keep transit moving and avoid a work stoppage with a fair deal for its supervisors and special constables,” says Watts.
Wayne Watts, President of CUPE 5500: cell 613.852.0094
David Robbins, CUPE Communications: cell 613.878.1431