LONDON – The City of London had plenty of time to take the necessary steps that could have avoided a strike by outside workers, CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan told a rally at City Hall today.
The members of CUPE Local 107 have been on strike for 10 days. The main issue is improvements to and harmonization of benefit levels.
The city has had eight or nine years since annexation to harmonize benefit levels among its employees, Ryan told the rally. Not only are people in the same bargaining unit receiving different benefit levels, they have had virtually no improvements to those benefits in that time.
Delays by the city in getting bargaining going have also resulted in a strike just before the Canada Games are scheduled to start, he said.
The City of London needs some hard lessons in labour relations, Ryan said. They have shown nothing but bad faith since this strike began.
Among the questionable actions taken by the city are:
- the order to remove portable toilets from picket lines
- insistence on running an ad that grossly exaggerates the real wages earned by outside workers
- attempting to negotiate through the media
- attempting to bypass union negotiators by writing directly to union members
- passing a budget with a maximum increase in wages and benefits after negotiations started
You can count on CUPE Ontario to stand with you against this unreasonable, inflexible employer, Ryan told the rally. Were with you all the way, until you win a contract that meets the needs of all Local 107 members.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees, Canadas largest union, represents workers employed by both public and private sector organizations in health care, emergency services, education, municipalities, social services, libraries, utilities, transportation and airlines, and front-line water services. Founded in 1963 by the amalgamation of the National Union of Public Service Employees and the National Union of Public Employees, CUPE represents half a million workers, 180,000 of whom are in Ontario.
For further information, please contact:
Sid Ryan, CUPE Ontario President
Pat Daley, Communications Representative