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LONDON, Ont. Municipal workers with the City of London are set to go on strike as early as March 24th if mediation talks between the city and local 101 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) fail to reach an agreement.

We are fed up with managements lack of respect for our members, said Cindy Cossar, President of CUPE Local 101. Inside workers work hard for this city and it is a shame that our employers bargaining team shows no interest in our issues.

Fair wage increases and respect for workers are the main issues for the 670 inside workers, which include finance and administration staff, IT staff, building inspectors, by-law enforcement officers, property standards officers, water and wastewater staff, development services staff, social services staff, recreation staff, provincial offences staff and others. The office and technical unit of Local 101 recently voted 87% in favour of a strike. Their last contract expired on December 31, 2004.

Our members are being offered wage increases that are about half of what councillors, management and outside workers received, said Cossar. We are an integral part of the citys operations and we expect to be treated equally and with respect. We are urging local residents to contact their councillors and tell them to offer inside workers a fair deal to prevent a strike.

Final mediation talks scheduled for March 21st are seen as a last chance to avoid a strike. Mediation talks will give management one last opportunity to show our members the respect that we deserve, otherwise, we will have no choice but to go on strike, said Cossar.


For further information, please contact:

Cindy Cossar, President CUPE Local 101 - 519-432-6695

Fred Blake, CUPE National Representative - 519-433-1753

James Chai, CUPE Communications - 416-292-3999