Mediation last chance to avoid Whitby municipal strike

    WHITBY, ON, Jan. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - Town of Whitby municipal workers are
set to go on strike February 4, at 12:01 am, if mediation talks between their
employer and Local 53 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) fail to
produce a fair deal for the 230 'inside' and 'outside' workers. Mediation
talks are scheduled for January 31, 2008.
    "It seems the city is more interested in pushing us to go on strike than
offering us a fair deal," said Karen Wilson, president of CUPE 53.
"Conciliation talks were not productive because management continued to treat
our members like second class citizens - we will not stand for this and will
take action to achieve fairness and respect."
    CUPE 53 is seeking a similar deal to what other municipal workers
achieved with the same employer. "Our members work just as hard as other
municipal employees, and we just want our work to be respected and recognized
with a fair deal," said Wilson. "We are sincerely hoping that management will
come to mediation with an intention to settle, otherwise we will end up in a
strike situation that nobody wants."
    The workers' contract expired on March 31, 2007. Outstanding issues
include wages and benefits.

For further information:

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

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