Members of CUPE 348, outside workers in Rouyn-Noranda, gathered in large numbers on Tuesday night and voted 96.4% in favour of a mandate to exert pressure tactics up to and including a strike.

“There are two areas where the discussions have stalled. First, there are inequities in how some employees are treated at the city. We want fair treatment for everyone. We are also not close to agreeing on salary issues. With historic inflation and labour shortages, the city needs to be more generous, as service to citizens could suffer if our employees leave,” says Geneviève Carrier, CUPE representative.

“Like everywhere else, attracting and retaining workers is an important issue,” she added.

The last contract expired on December 31, 2021, and the parties have been at the bargaining table for seven months. In the face of difficult talks, the members wanted to put pressure to show their mobilization behind their negotiating committee.