WOODSTOCK, Ont. – City of Woodstock municipal workers, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), could be on strike later this month if a contract is not reached between management and the union.
“Our members are seeking a fair contract that reflects the economic boom in Woodstock,” said Linda Thurston-Neeley, CUPE national representative. “The Toyota manufacturing plant that’s being built in the city has triggered an increase in other manufacturing plants in the area. This is good news for the local economy, but management must address issues that come with rapid economic growth, including additional demands for our members’ services and an increased cost of living in the area.”
CUPE represents 50 full-time workers and additional seasonal summer students who work in the city’s public works, parks and water department. A strike or a lockout by the employer would affect services such as garbage collection, recycling, roads work, mechanical services for city vehicles, water services and parks. The workers’ last contract expired on December 31, 2006.
“Our members are already under-staffed and the demand for their services continues to increase,” said Thurston-Neeley. “We hope to have a more open discussion with management in mediation about the realities of the economic boom and the accompanying rises in workloads and the cost of living.” Mediation talks are scheduled for Monday, June 11. In addition to workload and cost of living increases, benefits remain an outstanding issue.
For further information, please contact:
Linda Thurston-Neeley, CUPE National Representative, 519-743-7781
James Chai, CUPE Communications, 416-292-3999