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LONDON, ON – City of London management failed to back away from concession demands as contract talks passed the midnight legal lockout or strike deadline Friday night, making the likelihood of a service shutdown all but certain, says CUPE.

“Our members are ready to take our struggle to the picket lines unless management moves their concession demands off the table,” said Shelley Navarroli, president of CUPE 101. “Without key decision makers at the bargaining table, a fair contract with the city was impossible to achieve last night. When talks broke off after the midnight deadline, we offered the city until 1:00 p.m. this (Saturday) afternoon, to bargain seriously with our team to reach a contract – so far we have not heard anything from them.”

“Our members are united in their resolve to fight concession demands by this employer,” said Navarroli. “We know we have the support of 630,000 CUPE members across Canada to fight off these concessions and we will stand strong in this struggle.” CUPE’s National Executive Board has endorsed a no concessions policy and fully supports members in their struggle to fight off concessions.

The city’s host of concession demands include gutting the collective agreement’s language on hours of work, contracting out, 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 want the public to know that we’ve done everything we can to bargain with the city,” concluded Navarroli. “We have offered the City of London one last chance to avert a service shutdown that would hurt vulnerable residents and businesses that rely on the services of the ‘750’ municipal workers.

And we sincerely hope that the city’s leaders will use this time extension wisely and come back with a serious offer to reach a deal and avert a showdown.”

For further information, please contact:

Shelley Navarroli
CUPE 101 President

Fred Blake
CUPE National Representative

James Chai
CUPE Communications