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WINDSOR, Ont. Municipal workers with the City of Windsor are set to go on strike as early as May 16th if mediation talks between the city and local 543.1 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) fail to reach an agreement.

Our members are being offered wage increases that are significantly lower than what other city workers received, said Mark McArthur, president of CUPE Local 543.1. Inside workers work hard to keep the city running smoothly and we expect to be treated equally and with respect.

In addition to a lower wage increase than what other city workers received, management is also demanding benefit rollbacks and a two-tier sick leave system. CUPE 543.1 represents over 1100 workers who provide administrative, finance, day-care, social services, building inspections, recreational services and others.

We are tired of being treated as second-class citizens, said McArthur. Inside workers, just like other city employees work for one employer. There is no reason why inside workers should accept anything less than what other city workers received. The workers voted 89 per cent in favour of a strike if a fair deal is not reached. Their last contract expired on December 31, 2004.

We are urging local residents to contact their councillors and tell them to offer inside workers a fair deal to prevent a strike, said McArthur. Final mediation talks are scheduled for May 12th. Mediation talks will give management a final chance to show our members the respect that we deserve, otherwise, we will have no choice but to go on strike.


For further information, please contact:
Mark McArthur - President - CUPE Local 543.1 - 519-254-3543
Ken McClelland - CUPE National Rep. - 519-966-9595
James Chai - CUPE Communications - 416-292-3999