LONDON, ON – The City of London’s 750 ‘inside’ municipal workers, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), will be on the picket line Monday morning, after bargaining talks with management broke down once again this (Saturday) afternoon when the employer wasted an opportunity to settle this dispute by again tabling concession demands that led to talks breaking down previously.
“Once again, this employer has shown that they have no intention to bargain, but to push our members on the picket line,” said Shelley Navarroli, president of CUPE 101. “We had given them an extension because it was clear that the city’s decision makers were not listening to our message of ‘No Concessions’ told to the city representatives at the bargaining table. We wanted them to have a chance to review their own unreasonable position and be prepared to bargain, but yet again it was the same pattern of no decision makers at the table but plenty of concession demands.”
“Unfortunately, it is the community that our members serve that will suffer, because of management’s tactics,” said Navarroli. “The city’s decision makers, who have been hiding for months, will now have to answer to the residents and businesses whose lives and livelihood will be affected by their disrespect for our members and the services they provide.”
The city’s host of concession demands include gutting the collective agreement’s language on hours of work, job evaluation, promotions, and cutting retiree benefits, among others. “Management’s concession demands were just ridiculous; for example, they want to have complete control over our members’ lives by having full flexibility to schedule all our members to work 7 days a week, including Saturdays and Sundays when City Hall is not even open,” said Navarroli. “We have always been accommodating of the city’s operational needs and have cooperated with management to schedule staff where services are required over the weekend, like tourism or special events or by-law officers. But when there is no operational need for it, why does management want to take all workers away from their families over the weekend?”
“We offered many different ways to accommodate their so-called ‘operational flexibility’ that they were looking for,” continued Navarroli. “It would now appear that, all along, they wanted us to go out on strike, which is really unfortunate, and the Mayor and Council will have to answer to the residents and businesses that rely on our members’ services.” Picket lines will go up on Monday morning in front of City Hall.
For further information, please contact:
CUPE 101 President
CUPE National Representative