LONDON, ON – Last minute talks to avert a strike between the City of London and its ‘inside’ municipal workers have ended with the city maintaining their position to take away current provisions in the collective agreement of CUPE 101 – pushing the city’s 750 front-line ‘inside’ workers out on the picket line on Monday morning.
“The city was intent on pushing their concession demands on our members of Local 101,” said Navarroli. “It is unfortunate that we are on strike because the city recently rolled over an agreement with our ‘outside’ workers that contains similar contract language provisions that management now wants to extract from the ‘inside’ workers. Why is the city forcing our members on strike over language that they rolled over for our ‘outside’ colleagues?”
Navarroli was referring to a contract rollover that the city entered with CUPE 107 (representing the ‘outside’ workers) last year, even though that contract was not set to expire till the end of 2015. This rolled-over contract, which will not expire until 2019, contains similar contract language that now the city wants to extract from the ‘inside’ group. The city’s concession demands include gutting the collective agreement’s language on hours of work, job evaluation, promotions, and cutting retiree benefits among others.
“It was clear from the very beginning that management was not interested in bargaining, instead pushing us out on strike over these concession demands that they agreed not to touch with the ‘outside’ workers of the city,” said Navarroli. “We’ve reviewed all possibilities to avoid a strike in our attempt to reach a deal, but they clearly want a labour disruption.”
“These provisions were freely negotiated by both parties over the years and they remain with the ‘outside’ workers,” continued Navarroli. “We are left with no choice but for our members to stand up and say no to these concessions.” Picket lines will go up in front of City Hall on Monday morning. CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn will join the picket line at 9:30 a.m.
“Unfortunately, it is the community that our members serve that will suffer, because of management’s tactics,” said Navarroli. “The city’s decision makers, who have been hiding for months, will now have to answer to the residents and businesses whose lives and livelihood will be affected by their disrespect for our members and the services they provide.”
For further information, please contact:
CUPE 101 President
CUPE National Representative