Minden, Ont. – The County of Haliburton started a countdown to a legal lockout or strike by requesting a ‘no-board’ report from an Ontario Ministry of Labour conciliator on Friday, May 2, following the resounding rejection of the employer’s ‘final offer’ by 33 inside and outside workers, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
“The employer is refusing to sit down and negotiate a fair deal,” said Brian Mulholland, spokesperson for CUPE 1960. “Instead of coming back to the bargaining table to resolve the outstanding issues, the employer has initiated a process to push their own workers on to the picket line.”
“Our members are dedicated municipal workers who deliver quality public services to the Haliburton community,” said Mulholland. “Forcing front-line workers to accept their offer or be locked out from their jobs is not a reasonable way to bargain. We are asking the County to drop strong arm tactics that put services at risk and begin meaningful bargaining to avert a labour dispute that will affect our residents and our community.”
A lockout or strike would affect municipal services, including road paving and resurfacing projects, equipment operations, road side maintenance, engineering and planning services, administration and accounting services and civic addressing and road naming operations, provided by county workers. The workers’ last contract expired on December 31, 2007.
“The County cannot treat us differently than other municipal workers who work for the same employer and provide services to the same residents,” said Mulholland. “All we want is fairness and not to be treated as second-class citizens. Instead, we are facing an employer that’s determined to force us to accept an unfair contract.” Outstanding issues include wages and benefits.
For further information, please contact:
Brian W. Mulholland, CUPE 1960 Spokesperson, 705-457-1954
Alison Davidson, CUPE National Representative, 705-760-5113
James Chai, CUPE Communications, 416-292-3999