Dozens of municipal workers from Toronto, members of CUPE 416, and striking members of CUPE 1490, were headed to a Black River-Matheson council meeting when they heard the news that it was cancelled.

“The Township is trying to force a new wage grid that slashes wages on average, $2/hour less for new hires,” said Serge Bouchard, president of CUPE 1490. “We’ve been on the line since October 15 because it’s completely unacceptable, and today we planned to let councilors and the mayor know just that. But instead of hearing us and possibly even letting us know they intend to get back to the table with a better offer, they just cancelled the meeting.”

During the day, the striking workers were joined by 20 members of CUPE 416, representing outside municipal workers in the City of Toronto, for a BBQ and rally. The plan, according to the unions, was to then attend the council meeting.

“We came to show our solidarity with these municipal workers because we know what kind of work they do and how valuable they are for their communities,” said Ted Aivalis, vice president of CUPE 416. “And we came here to let council know that local 1490 isn’t alone, that all workers across the province have their backs, and that we’ll be right there with them until they get a good deal. This is just the latest act of disrespect in a long line of disheartening moves from this Township and we’re going to let them know it’s unacceptable.”

“We’re here and we’re going to keep showing our solidarity and sending the message that it’s time for a good deal for these workers – now.”