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AJAX Municipal workers with the Town of Ajax are set to go on strike November 19th, 2004, at 12:01 a.m., if mediation talks between the Town and Local 54 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), fail to produce a new contract. The workers voted 90 per cent in favour of strike action if a deal cannot be reached.

The last thing we want is to go on strike, said Steve Peters, president of CUPE Local 54. But our members will not be pushed around and we deserve respect and a fair contract for the important work we do.

The Towns 92 full-time municipal workers include by-law officers, building inspectors, road maintenance crews, parks and recreation staff and administration staff. Their contract expired on March 31, 2004. During the initial round of bargaining, held in May, the employer walked away from the bargaining table without responding to union proposals, and applied for conciliation, starting a countdown toward a strike showdown.

Management didnt make any moves to settle the contract at conciliation, said Peters. In fact, they even resorted to distributing inaccurate information to our members. We are ready to walk if we are pushed to go on strike.

Wages and benefits are the main outstanding issues. Our members deserve fair wages, said Peters. Our wages and benefits are inferior, compared to what workers receive in neighbouring Durham municipalities. Next weeks mediation talks will give management one last opportunity to show our members the respect that we deserve.

For further information, please contact:

Steve Peters, President, CUPE Local 54 - 905-626-5633 cell
Linda Newman, CUPE National Rep. - 905-706-9786 cell
James Chai, CUPE Communications - 416-292-3999