A fair contract will prevent municipal strike: City of Waterloo workers

    WATERLOO, ON, Jan. 8 /CNW Telbec/ - City of Waterloo workers, represented
by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), are seeking a fair deal for
110 'outside' municipal workers, while the City continues to push an inferior
deal that could force the workers on strike as early as January 15, 2009 at
12:01 am.
    "While Council gave significant increases to management and select
non-union city employees, they refuse to offer a fair package to front-line
unionized workers," said Mark Charboneau, CUPE national representative for
CUPE 1542. "This double standard treatment must stop or Council will bear the
responsibility for a municipal strike that will affect snowplowing, arena
operations and other services." Last night, the workers voted 100 per cent to
take strike action if a fair deal is not reached with the city.
    The municipal outside workers provide services such as public works,
water distribution, sewer and wastewater maintenance, parks and pool
maintenance, traffic signs maintenance, cemeteries services, arenas and RIM
park operations, winter roads snow plowing, sanding and salting services and
others. "Our members provide important services that keep our communities
running smoothly," said Peter Filato, president of CUPE 1542. "All we are
seeking is a fair deal so we can continue to provide services to residents of
    According to public reports, Council approved $1.8 million in wage
increases for management and select non-union city employees, including
retroactive increases. "Our members serve the same community as other city
employees, and we expect management to treat our members in a similar manner -
with respect and fairness," said Charboneau.
    Mediation talks are scheduled for Tuesday, January 13. The workers' last
contract expired on December 31, 2008.

For further information:

For further information: Mark Charboneau, CUPE National Rep., (519)
743-7781, Cell: (519) 242-9768; James Chai, CUPE Communications, (416)

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