City of Cambridge workers prepare for strike to press for fair contract

    CAMBRIDGE, ON, Oct. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - City of Cambridge workers,
represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), could be on
strike on October 29, 2007 at 12:01am, over issues of fairness and respect.
The workers voted 99 per cent to take strike action if a fair deal is not
reached with the City.
    "Our members have spoken loud and clear," said Mark Charboneau, CUPE
National Representative for CUPE Local 32. "We work for the same employer,
serve the same residents and live in the same community as other city public
servants, and we expect to be treated with the same fairness and respect."
    The over 165 municipal outside workers provide services such as public
works, water distribution, sewer and wastewater maintenance, parks and pool
maintenance, cemeteries services, arenas operations, animal control, winter
roads snow plowing, sanding and salting services and others. "Our members work
hard and deliver these services every day to keep our communities running
smoothly," said Charboneau.
    "We are the front-line workers who help our residents, work with local
businesses and keep municipal operations running efficiently so families and
children can have a better quality of life in Cambridge," said Paul Walsh,
president of CUPE 32. "We deliver first-rate services that residents and
businesses rely on and we refuse to be treated like second class citizens in
our own community."
    The workers are fighting management's concession demands, including sick
leave proposals for new employees that would create a two-tier workforce. City
management recently signed a new contract with another group of city workers
without any concessions. "We are asking the City to treat their staff with
respect and fairness," continued Charboneau. "We would rather be working than
walking the picket lines, but we want to settle our contract without any
take-aways - otherwise our members are prepared to strike if necessary."
    Mediation talks are scheduled for Thursday, October 25. The workers' last
contract expired on December 31, 2006. Other outstanding issues include wages
and benefits.

For further information:

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

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