Management proposal fails to address rising cost of living - Woodstock municipal workers face June 22 strike deadline

    WOODSTOCK, ON, June 13 /CNW Telbec/ - City of Woodstock municipal
workers, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), voted
to reject the latest contract proposal from management last night setting the
stage for a strike or a lockout in 10 days.
    "The employer's last offer did not address the core issue of the impact
of an economic boom on workloads and the higher cost of living in Woodstock,"
said Linda Thurston-Neeley, CUPE national representative. "We urge management
to return to the table and work out an agreement that addresses our members'
concerns, and prevent a strike." The workers will be in a legal strike
position at 12:01 am on June 22.
    The Toyota Motor Company's plan to open a new state-of the-art assembly
facility in Woodstock has attracted additional investments in the local
community, including the building of supplier parts and aftermarket industries
that support the new plant. The Ontario government estimates 3,000 new jobs
will be created locally.
    "Increased economic activity in Woodstock means more demand for our
members' services and overall growth that translates into a higher cost of
living," said Thurston-Neeley. "In the past four years, Woodstock has
experienced 240 per cent growth in the value of residential building permits -
management needs to address and manage the impact that comes with this kind of
    A strike or a lockout by the employer would affect services such as
garbage collection, recycling, roads work, mechanical services for city
vehicles, water services and parks. CUPE represents 50 full-time workers and
additional seasonal summer students who work in the city's public works, parks
and water department. The workers' last contract expired on December 31, 2006.
    "Our members don't want a strike - they want a fair contract that truly
addresses the main issues," said Thurston-Neeley. "Recognizing the impact our
growing economy is having on workers and their ability to look after their own
families can prevent a strike or lockout that will hurt our community."

For further information:

For further information: please contact: Linda Thurston-Neeley, CUPE
National Representative, (519) 743-7781; James Chai, CUPE Communications,
(416) 292-3999

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