Council and management jeopardizing public services in City of London

    LONDON, ON, July 5 /CNW Telbec/ - City of London management is
jeopardizing public services by demanding that CUPE Local 101 drop three
grievances or go out on strike, warns the Canadian Union of Public Employees
(CUPE), representing over 750 municipal 'inside' workers.
    "The employer is holding public services that our members provide to the
residents of London as bargaining chips," said Cindy Cossar-Jones, president
of CUPE 101. "In the last stages of bargaining, the employer demanded that we
drop grievances we have filed against the city for violations of our
collective agreement. We've even had two days of hearings on one of the
grievances, which normally are dealt with in a separate process outside of
bargaining, and we suspect the employer knows they will not win this
grievance. Essentially they are telling us, you either drop these grievances
or you go on strike."
    "We deliver public services every day and know how important our work is
to London residents," said Cossar-Jones. "That's why we extended the strike
deadline to ensure the public is not affected by management's latest tactic.
The strike deadline extension will allow our members to review the current
situation and discuss next steps."
    The previous strike deadline of July 5 has been extended for a week to
12:01 am, July 12. No further talks are scheduled. The workers' last contract
expired on December 31, 2007.
    "Council and management have been telling the public that money is the
main issue while behind closed doors they are pushing their own agenda by
forcing us to drop grievances or go out on strike," said Cossar-Jones. "We are
urging the public to contact the Mayor and council to urge them to bargain
fairly, and stop undermining the bargaining process and jeopardizing public

    CUPE 101 represents 'inside' workers at the City of London. A strike or
lockout would affect municipal services, including finance and administration,
building and property standard inspections, by-law enforcement, water and
waste water treatment, tourism, traffic management, roads construction
management, recreation programs registration, social services, provincial
offences services, streets and traffic lights management, IT services and

For further information:

For further information: Cindy Cossar-Jones, President CUPE 101, (519)
852-8010; Fred Blake, CUPE National Rep., (519) 868-4006; James Chai, CUPE
Communications, (416) 292-3999

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