Whitby municipal negotiations break down - strike deadline February 4



    WHITBY, ON, Jan. 11 /CNW Telbec/ - 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.




For further information:

For further information: Karen Wilson, CUPE 53 President, (905)
925-2873; Betty Sommers, CUPE National Representative, (905) 439-7044; James
Chai, CUPE Communications, (416) 292-3999

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