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Late Friday afternoon on August 27, the Quebec Ministry of Labour announced that the conciliator appointed for negotiations between the City of Montreal and its 6,000 blue-collar workers will file a recommendation to assist the parties in reaching a collective agreement. Conciliator Stéphane Giraldeau informed union and management that he will be submitting his recommendation shortly.

The arbitration award in lieu of a collective agreement between the City and Montreal’s blue-collar workers, the Syndicat de cols bleus regroupés de Montréal (CUPE 301), expired three years ago on August 31, 2007.

So far, some forty conciliation meetings have been held between the parties. In a communication to members, CUPE 301 President Michel Parent said, “Despite significant progress, several key points are still in dispute.” He added that, “faced with this situation, the conciliator has informed us that he will submit a recommendation to us within the next few weeks, and has asked us to submit it to our respective committees. Once the union bargaining committee has read the recommendation, the union will convene a special general meeting.”

The union had also indicated that the pressure tactics at the Insectarium and the Biodome will be maintained until further notice.