Toronto - Confident the province would bail them out, Mayor Mel Lastman and his Deputy thought that they could get away with ignoring the bargaining process. They were wrong this time, thanks to the principled stand of the Ontario NDP Caucus.
“The question is: why did the Mayor think he could get away with bypassing the collective bargaining process? For the answer, all you have to do is look at the record of the Conservatives at Queen’s Park,” said Brian O’Keefe, CUPE Ontario Secretary-Treasurer. “The Tories passed legislation, after legislation, weakening the foundation of effective labour relations in Ontario. Who could blame the Mayor for thinking that the Eves’ government would be an eager ally in his union-busting intentions?
“We are grateful to the NDP Leader Howard Hampton and his caucus for refusing to cooperate unless a neutral arbitrator, acceptable to Local 79, Local 416 and the City of Toronto, was part of the arrangement,” added O’Keefe. “We never like to see back-to-work legislation. We always want to resolve issues through fair collective bargaining. Today, we reluctantly accept the back-to-work legislation because it represents the best outcome for a very bad situation.
“We call on the Mayor to take advantage of the new situation and return collective bargaining back to the forefront of the city’s labour relations, resolve the differences between the city and Local 79 and Local 416, and arrive at a fair negotiated collective agreement.”
For more information please contact:
Brian O’Keefe, CUPE Ontario Secretary-Treasurer
Dean Williams, CUPE Communications