Town of Whitby has the power and the responsibility to step in and force the employer to hash out a good deal with striking workers, said CUPE 53.

“Mayor Elizabeth Roy is simply trying to pass the buck by wrongly claiming that Council has no power to force the Employer to get back to the table so we can actually come up with a deal that makes sense,” said Rob Radford, President of CUPE 53. “The fact is Council absolutely can – and it absolutely must.”

After being on strike since October 14, the 300 full-time municipal employees in Whitby are ramping up efforts to push Council to play a bigger role in resolving the labour dispute. In a letter Radford sent to Roy, he reminded her that Council shapes the mandate for bargaining and that it does, in fact, have the power to force the Employer back to the bargaining table. Council, says CUPE 53, even demand that the Employer remove the concessions in question: changes to scheduling and hours.

“The CAO Matt Gaskell stated you are in support of the Employer’s position that will so deeply affect our members without actually hearing both sides of the tables positions,” wrote Radford. “That is an irresponsible position to take”.

The union is therefore calling on Council to immediately meet the union to hear their concerns about the Employer’s offer, as well as calling on Council to force the Employer to get back to the table.

Picket lines are set up at: Whitby Town Hall, 575 Rossland Road East; and Whitby Public Works, 333 McKinney Drive. The striking workers are also asking residents of Whitby to send a message to the Town of Whitby here.