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Toronto The union representing 2,400 library workers in the City of Toronto has requested and been granted a no board report, starting the countdown to a strike or lockout. The Ministry of Labour has set July 4th, 12:01 a.m. as the deadline for the library workers.

Library workers are members of the Toronto Civic Employees Union, Local 416 (CUPE), the same union representing 6,800 outside workers in the city. The outside workers have a strike/lockout deadline of June 24th, 12:01 a.m.

We didnt feel we had a choice at this point, said Brian Cochrane, president of Local 416. While our primary interest is in negotiating an agreement and not a strike, the Library Board is showing the same intransigence as the Citys negotiators who are meeting with the outside workers in Local 416. We seem to be making no headway on several issues of critical importance to library workers, including understaffing, job postings, hours of work, wages and benefits, said Cochrane.

The library division of Local 416 is currently conducting its strike vote.

If there is a work stoppage in the library system, childrens summer programs, public access to computer terminals, home delivery programs for seniors, and other key services would be jeopardized.

Local 416 represents a total of 9,000 workers in Toronto, including library workers, water/wastewater workers, paramedics (EMS), solid waste workers, parks and recreation workers, corporate services and transportation workers, and housing 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:
Andrea Addario, CUPE Communications,