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(Toronto) Toronto Zoo workers, members of CUPE Local 1600, have voted 90% in favour of strike action. The union has been bargaining since early March to renew their collective agreement.

Zoo management unexpectedly applied for a No Board report, which would put the workers in a legal position to be locked out April 30th.

Outstanding issues in the dispute include layoff and recall language, long term disability, bereavement leave and wages. The employer also has a number of concessions on the table.

Local 1600 President Charles Van Vliet (PRON: Vleet) says, “We believe the remaining issues are resolvable.”

“We have long service employees being laid off, while there are vacant positions. We need to correct the contract language which allows this to happen,” says the CUPE President.

The union also wants to ensure that long term disability covers employees who have significant debilitating illness. The union is also asking for wages equivalent to the wage settlement achieved by the other City of Toronto bargaining units.

Says Van Vliet, “Were cautiously optimistic that well be able to achieve a settlement before the public suffers any disruption in service.”

Talks continue today through April 27th and 28th at the Howard Johnsons Hotel on Markham Road in Scarborough.

For information:
Charles Van Vliet, President, CUPE Local 1600
(416) 579-2873 (Cell)
Ian Thompson, CUPE National Rep.
(416) 460-5250 (Cell)
John McCracken, CUPE Communications Rep.
(416) 292-3999 (o)

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