CORNWALL, Ont. – Mediation talks on Friday, June 9th, are seen as the last chance to avoid a strike by 125 Cornwall municipal workers, according to the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
“We will do our best in mediation talks to avert a strike, because that’s the last thing our members want,” said Bob Manny, CUPE national representative. “But with management tabling concession demands, we need to be ready to strike to defend our collective agreement.” CUPE 3251 members will be in a legal strike position at 12:01 am, June 17th. A strike would affect water treatment, sewers, social services, social assistance, Ontario Works, building inspections, clerical and office services, by-law enforcement, childcare, pools and the aquatic centre, engineering and city construction projects, and other city services.
“There’s no reason for management to continue demanding concessions and push us into a strike,” said Manny. “The City is sitting on a 1.5 million dollar surplus and the province has announced they will pay 50% of paramedic and emergency services, saving taxpayers 16% of those costs. If concessions don’t come off the table, management will be responsible for disrupting essential services, including water treatment and welfare cheques – our community can’t take it.” City management earlier filed a ‘no-board’ report with the ministry of labour, starting the countdown to a legal strike or lockout deadline of June 17th.
“Our paramedics are also facing the possibility of a walkout,” said Manny. “City management decided to start the countdown to a strike without agreeing to an essential services designation for paramedics, threatening the health and well-being of residents.”
“The mayor and council need to get the message that Cornwall residents don’t want a disruption and that elected officials have a responsibility to settle this contract fairly,” said Manny. “Council can’t let city management continue their tactics of backing workers into a corner – they need to come to the bargaining table in mediation talks tomorrow and settle this to protect the services Cornwall residents rely on.”
For further information, please contact:
Bob Manny, CUPE National Representative - 613-933-5515
Robert Lamoureux, CUPE Communications - 416-292-3999