After nearly two years since their last contract expired, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 87, representing approximately 700 inside and outside municipal workers in Thunder Bay, has requested a “no-board” from the Ministry of Labour. This has triggered a strike or lockout deadline of 12:01 a.m. November 1st.

“It’s simply taking too long to reach an agreement,” said Karen Martin, president of CUPE Local 87. “We hope that having a deadline will focus talks and help our employer get serious about reaching a fair deal.”

The parties have been bargaining for over a year, and remain apart on a number of key issues.

“The employer is seeking concessions to our benefits plan, and on a number of basic collective agreement rights,” said Martin, “and this is a problem. We deliver quality public services in Thunder Bay every day – our goal is to negotiate a fair deal for our members, and to keep delivering those services.”

The parties have talks scheduled for October 31, with a provincially appointed mediator.