CUPE Locals 416 and 79, with a combined membership of some 25,000, say the planned cuts will change the fabric of Canadas largest city forever.
Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman has announced plans for a voluntary wage freeze for all city employees. A secret document entitled the Savings Task Force Report has become public, outlining plans for privatization and contracting out on a massive scale.
Toronto is currently facing a budget deficit of $305 million, as a direct result of downloading from the Harris government. So-called savings from the amalgamation of seven former municipal governments in the old Metro Toronto have not materialized. CUPE made these very same arguments some four years ago when it fought the forced amalgamation.
The two Toronto locals have made membership mobilization an important part of their Strong City campaign. They will be working with community groups such as the Metro Network for Social Justice, the Toronto and York Region Labour Council and other CUPE locals over the coming weeks.