With a global pandemic here and the deadline for labour disruption just around the corner, the leader of Canada’s largest union local today urged the City of Toronto to reach a settlement.

“The whole city is watching. The actions we all take in the coming days will be incredibly consequential. We have to get this right,” said Dave Mitchell, President of CUPE Local 79.

“For the well-being and security of every Torontonian, we need to get this done,” he added.

The City of Toronto and CUPE 79’s full-time, part-time, recreation and long-term care (LTC) units are attempting to negotiate renewals to their collective agreements, which expired on December 31, 2019. The parties are negotiating ahead of a deadline of 12:01 a.m. Saturday morning. If no agreement is reached by the deadline, a labour disruption could take place.

With the Coronavirus pandemic now a key concern, Mitchell said it is imperative that the City of Toronto conclude negotiations successfully.

“Let’s roll up our sleeves and get the job done – now – so the city, our members and residents of this great city can turn our attention to where it needs to be.

Negotiations have kicked into high gear this week ahead of the deadline.

Noting that CUPE 79 is negotiating on behalf of four separate units with distinct priorities, Mitchell said that “if the City of Toronto is serious about negotiating, they need to put down the cookie cutter.”