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Talks have again broken off in Windsor, Ontario, leaving 1,200 municipal workers walking the picket line to protect their benefits and win a fair wage increase. CUPE Local 543 went on strike January 14, determined that the local would not be unfairly targeted as the City looks to cut spending.

In eight months of bargaining, the employer had moved very little on several key issues, including wages, a two-tier benefit system, job security and the right to arbitrate long term disability claims issues the employer had settled on significantly better terms with other City employees.

Talks broke off January 11 and, for the first time in 23 years, CUPE Local 543 members were out on strike.

Bargaining resumed after three days of picketing but the return to the table was short-lived. After 16 hours, negotiations broke off early Friday morning. While progress was made on the right to arbitrate LTD claims, the employer continues to push for two-tier benefits. CUPE Local 543 is clear, thats unacceptable.

CUPE Local 82, which represents Windsors outside workers, is also approaching a possible strike.