CUPE 30 calls on Council to fast track re-development

The union representing employees of Northlands is calling on the City of Edmonton to fast track re-development proposals aimed at ensuring properties and the coliseum don’t become derelict.

“We’ve already seen 25 of our members receive layoff notices,” said Mike Scott, President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Local 30. “The failure of the City to act faster means we might see more layoffs and the further degeneration of an important piece of land.”

“Tim Reid may call them retirement packages, but at the end of the day if someone rejects the retirement offer, Northlands will reduce staff by those same numbers,” said Scott.  “By Mr. Reid’s own admission, this is the single biggest layoff in the not-for-profit sector in Alberta.”

With the opening of the new Rogers Place arena downtown, Edmonton City Council is debating the Northlands ‘Vision 2020’ proposal for the old arena and lands surrounding it. The proposal calls for an urban festival site, converting the coliseum into a six sheet centre for amateur hockey, and other changes.

Scott says that the festival site alone would have saved his members’ jobs.

“City Council handed everything over to Darrel Katz four years ago, and they have done nothing since then to re-develop the Northlands’ site,” said Scott. “More events will be going to the new downtown arena because they are not unionized jobs and costs are lower”

“Council needs to be less short-sighted about the costs associated with Vision 2020 – and engage the Federal and Provincial Governments about the possibility of sharing in the costs of development,” said Scott. “With the current downturn in the economy, now is the perfect time to put people to work building important infrastructure for the future.”

For more information, please contact:

Mike Scott
President CUPE 30