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Ajax The union representing the Corporation of the Town of Ajax municipal workers is questioning the motives of the Towns negotiating team who, after only a few days of scheduled contract talks, walked away from the bargaining table without responding to union proposals.

Weve never seen anything like this in previous negotiations with the Town. One minute were exchanging proposals, the next minute their negotiators shut everything down in a huff, says Steve Peters, the president of Local 54 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

Local 54 represents 92 full-time municipal employees who work as bylaw officers, building inspectors, road maintenance crews, parks and recreation staff, and in administration. Their contract expired on March 31, 2004.

Peters says the union went into negotiations determined to avoid a labour dispute and believed the Town negotiators were equally motivated to secure a new contract.

First the Town tells us they want to bargain all night until we have a deal. And then they break off talks, without responding to our proposals, and walk away from the table. We have been available, and continue to be available, to bargain.

Unfortunately, the Town has chosen not to continue to bargain with us. One really has to question their motives, says Peters who adds that, in the time he has worked for the Town of Ajax, municipal workers have never gone on strike and dont deserve this kind of disrespect.

Employee benefits are among several outstanding issues.

Our benefit coverage is extremely inferior when compared to our neighbouring Durham municipalities. We need extensive improvements for our members, says Peters.


For more information, please contact:
Linda Newman
CUPE National Representative
(905) 706-9786

Stella Yeadon
CUPE Communications
(416) 578-8774

Steve Peters
President, CUPE Local 54
(905) 626-5633