OTTAWA, Ont. – BFI Canada Inc. workers, members of Local 1338-02 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) are ready to go on strike if the company doesn’t show more openness to their contract demands. The workers are responsible for recycling and waste collection in the west end of Ottawa.
The 40 workers, who collect residential and commercial garbage and recycling for approximately 25 per cent of Ottawa, have voted over 90 per cent in favour of strike action if a fair collective agreement is not reached with the employer. The strike vote took place Wednesday evening.
The union has been frustrated with the employer’s refusal to bargain fairly. The bargaining has stumbled on wages, hours of work and overtime, and has come to a complete halt over benefits such as healthcare insurance, long term disability, etc.
Garbage collection is seen as one of the most hazardous jobs. BFI workers handle an average of 15 tons of garbage per day, roughly 600-900 bags per man every day. Injury rates average 35 per cent every year. The union is seeking the same kind of agreement that other workers in this industry have in Ottawa.
“Our members are determined to be treated fairly and are united. Our goal is to get a fair contract similar to what other workers in the industry have already received,” said Daniel Sauvé, President of CUPE 1338-02.
CUPE is Canada’s largest union, representing over 600,000 members in different sectors, including universities, schools, hospitals, municipalities, social services, transportation and other sectors.
For more information, please contact:
Daniel Sauvé, Local 1338-02 President: 613-295-4230
Andy Mele, CUPE National Representative: 613-816-2125
Ronald Boisrond, CUPE Communications: 416-292-3999