Hamilton, Ont. – City of Hamilton workers, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), are preparing to take strike action over two-tier employment if a fair deal is not reached with City management in upcoming mediation talks.
“We are seeking a fair deal that respects all municipal workers,” said Derron Vernon, president of CUPE 5167. “Management wants to continue to discriminate against casual workers, denying them the same rights and benefits as their full-time colleagues – we are determined to end this unacceptable practice.”
The City wants to double the hiring of casual workers from the current 10 per cent to 20 per cent of the 2,700 municipal workforce. Management treats ‘casual’ workers as second-class citizens, even though some of them have over six years of service.
“We are hoping the New Year will bring a new attitude from city management to help resolve the two-tier issue,” said Vernon. “Nobody wants a strike to kick off 2008, but if management makes no effort to address this issue of inequality, municipal services could be affected by a strike later this month.”
Since late December, the workers have been in a legal strike or lockout position which means the union can call a strike or management can lock the workers out at any time. Mediation talks are planned for January 7, 8, 9, 15 and 16. The workers’ last contract expired on December 31, 2006. Other outstanding issues include wages and benefits.
For further information, please contact:
Derron Vernon Andrew Hunter James Chai
President CUPE 5167 CUPE National Rep. CUPE Communications
905-517-0448 cell 905-575-5411 416-292-3999