WHITBY, Ont. – Municipal workers at the Town of Whitby, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), could be on strike early next month after conciliation talks, between the union and City representatives, broke off this afternoon.
“Talks broke off because management does not respect our members and refuses to show flexibility on the outstanding issues,” said Karen Wilson, president of CUPE 53. “Management has chosen to jeopardize crucial municipal services instead of working towards a negotiated settlement.” Union representatives requested a ‘no-board’ report from the provincial conciliator, triggering a countdown to a lockout or a legal strike deadline of 12:01 am, February 4.
“We will not be treated as second-class citizens,” said Wilson. “We work for the same employer, serve the same residents and live in the same community as other municipal workers, and we expect to be treated with the same fairness and respect.”
The 230 ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ workers deliver key municipal services including garbage collection, snow removal, sanding, planning, administration, parks, arenas and recreation services. Their contract expired on March 31, 2007. Outstanding issues include wages and benefits. Mediation talks are scheduled for January 31, 2008.
Karen Wilson, CUPE 53 President, 905-925-2873
Betty Sommers, CUPE National Representative, 905-439-7044
James Chai, CUPE Communications, 416-292-3999