WINDSOR, Ont. – Yesterday, members of locals 82 and 543 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) were voting on an offer presented by the City of Windsor. After the final count, 77 % of local 82 members rejected the offer and 85 % from local 543 also voted against the City’s proposal.
Jim Wood, president of local 82, hopes this outcome will convince the City to bargain seriously: “Our membership just sent a clear message to Mayor Eddie Francis”, stated Wood. “Our workers are ready to return to work but not under any condition. The City is asking for major concessions and offering nothing in return. We have been fighting for fourteen weeks and this should finally make the City understand we are not giving up.”
After some of the events that took place on Wednesday, where management members were handing out flyers to members waiting to vote, Wood was upset at the City’s attitude: “At the moment, we are discussing with our legal counsel the possibility of filing an unfair labor practice. These tactics from the Mayor have to end. He’s the one who provoked the continuation of this strike.”
After the vote, Jean Fox, president of CUPE local 543, was pleased by the support of her membership: “Today we sent a clear message to council members: Start bargaining seriously”, said Fox. “We need to resolve the strike as quickly as possible and resume services for the citizens of Windsor. Our members showed today how serious they are about fairness and respect. It’s now time for Mayor Eddie Francis and Council members to step up to the plate. The two locals are committed to returning to the table but the City will have to be serious in getting an agreement and offer a fair package that addresses our members concerns. ”
CUPE local 82, representing outside workers, have been on strike since Wednesday, April 15th. Their colleagues of local 543, the inside workers, joined the picket line on Saturday, April 18th.
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