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White-collar workers in the city of Pointe-Claire, represented by the Syndicat des fonctionnaires municipaux de Montréal (SFMM, CUPE-FTQ), are stepping up their pressure tactics. Without a contract for nearly four years, the white-collar workers will hold a four-hour work stoppage on Tuesday, June 1 to protest their employer’s inflexibility.

The ongoing negotiations, nearly 30 months long, have stopped. Discussions have broken down over major issues such as obtaining parity for employees at risk, shift premiums, the pension plan, granting blocks of work hours, and measures reconciling work and family.

“How is it that we have managed to reach an agreement with every city on the Island of Montreal, including the city centre, but not with Pointe-Claire?” said union President, Monique Côté. “Our demands are legitimate and reasonable. And they have been echoed by the other 11 municipalities. The citizens of Pointe-Claire should seriously consider the consequences of a labour dispute.”

The white-collar workers’ collective agreement expired on June 30, 2006. Concerned about a labour dispute, the union filed both a request for conciliation and a request for essential services for the work stoppage scheduled for tomorrow. The white-collar workers will hold a meeting Tuesday afternoon to determine their next step towards obtaining an agreement.

The SFMM (CUPE-FTQ) represents more than 10,000 white-collar staff working in the Montreal public and para-public service. These members work for the City of Montreal, for the 12 reconstituted municipalities in the Montreal area, and for para-municipal corporations such as the Société du Parc Jean-Drapeau, the Société d’habitation et de développement de Montréal (SHDM), the Office municipal d’habitation de Montréal (OMHM), Corporation Anjou 80, Stationnement de Montréal, and the Montreal branch of the private company Parc Six Flags Montréal (La Ronde).