Toronto - City of Toronto “outside” workers voted overwhelmingly this week to give their negotiating committee a mandate to call a strike if they are unable to reach an agreement with their employer. The workers are members of the Toronto Civic Employees Union, Local 416 (CUPE), and they voted 88% in favour of the mandate.
“It’s crystal clear that our members are tired of City Hall arrogance,” said Brian Cochrane, president of Local 416. “The City diminishes our concerns about employment security with flip remarks about ‘jobs for life’ when they know full well that whatever we negotiate in this contract is applicable for the term of that contract – two or three or four years.”
“When the City attacks our jobs through contracting out and privatization, they are also attacking the heart of the services the public relies on. We know that the best way to continue providing quality public services - for everyone, not just for those who can afford to pay extra for them – is to keep experienced city workers on the job.”
“We do not want to go on strike this summer. But clearly our members are ready to do so if the City continues to show complete disrespect for the workers who are devoted to keeping this city running and for their families.” said Cochrane.
The union will be in a legal strike position as of June 24th, 12:01 a.m. At that time the employer may also lock out its employees if no agreement has been reached. Local 416 continues to be available to negotiate with the City.
Local 416 represents about 6, 000 workers in Toronto, including water/wastewater workers, paramedics (EMS), solid waste workers, parks and recreation workers, corporate services and transportation workers.
CUPE represents half a million working women and men in Canada, many of whom work in the municipal, school board, health care, and university sectors.
For further information:
Brian Cochrane, President, CUPE Local 416,
(416) 725-2873 (cell)
Andrea Addario, CUPE Communications,
(416) 738-4329 (cell)