Toronto - The union representing 6, 800 “outside” workers in Toronto says that the City is not serious about getting a deal. “We are now less than one week to our strike/lockout deadline,” says Brian Cochrane, President of the Toronto Civic Employees’ Union, Local 416, (CUPE), “and the City has said they will not meet with us on either Monday or Tuesday. It’s frankly shocking. We have said we’re available to meet with them 24 hours a day between now and the June 24th deadline. We have said we will do all we can to avoid a work stoppage. Where are they? We have complex issues on the table, and it is going to take time to reach a deal.”
The union was informed through a government-appointed conciliator late on Sunday night that the City will not meet with Local 416 until Wednesday, choosing instead to meet solely with CUPE Local 79, the “inside” workers, who have a strike/lockout deadline of June 29th, five days after the Local 416 deadline.
“We understand that they also need to bargain with Local 79, and we’re glad to hear that they are meeting with someone,” says Cochrane. “But if the City is committed to avoiding a strike, then clearly they must assign more resources to the bargaining table. It seems that the City is incapable or unwilling to focus in on these negotiations in any meaningful way. Can they not find a way to bargain with both locals simultaneously? The people of Toronto should not be at all confident that the City is committed to avoiding a work stoppage,” says Cochrane.
Local 416 represents water and waste-water workers, sanitation workers, paramedics (EMS), parks and recreation, road and transportation workers.
CUPE represents half a million working women and men in Canada, many of whom work in the municipal, health care, and university sectors.
For further information:
Brian Cochrane, Local 416,
(416) 562-2543 (cell)
Andrea Addario, CUPE Communications,
(416) 738-4329 (cell)