WINDSOR, Ont. – As they are entering their seventh week on strike, members of CUPE local 82 and local 543, representing municipal workers in Windsor, received today a significant support from CUPE leadership.
During a press conference held on Tuesday, June 2nd in Windsor, Paul Moist, National President of CUPE, reminded the striking workers that they can count on solidarity. “We are here today to reiterate our support to those workers going through some very tough times,” said Moist. “All 590,000 CUPE members across Canada are behind you and we will make sure that you keep the benefits you fought for and deserve.”
Moist also proposed a solution that could immediately put an end to this ongoing labour dispute. “Arbitration appears to us as the most responsible option in this case. A vast majority of people agree that municipal services in Windsor must resume as quickly as possible. Arbitration from a neutral and impartial party would allow just that and would avoid this strike from continuing. This community does not need any other bad economic news.”
Sid Ryan, president of CUPE Ontario, announced a major financial help for the striking workers. “During the recent CUPE Ontario convention, we were able to collect close to a quarter of a million dollars. This shows how much workers in Ontario care about the issue of post-retirement benefits and what they are ready to do in support to the Windsor community.”
Jean Fox, president of CUPE local 543 and James Wood, president of CUPE local 82 were overwhelmed by this support and indicated it would help their members and boost the morale. Regarding the outcome of this ongoing strike, they also felt arbitration was the most responsible solution. “We would have preferred to continue discussions at the negotiation table but the City decided to leave the table,” said Wood. “City Council does not seem ready to resume discussions so our proposal is to send remaining issues to binding arbitration. The issue of post-retirement benefits is still dividing the parties after seven weeks. We believe arbitration is the only way to end this labour dispute in an honourable way for both the City and the Union.”
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For further information, please contact:
Luc Tittley, CUPE Communications, 416-910-2389