Whitby Council makes regressive offer to union - strike imminent

    WHITBY, ON, Jan. 31 /CNW Telbec/ - Mediation talks, between the Town of
Whitby and Local 53 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), broke
off earlier this afternoon after the employer made a regressive offer that was
worse than the last proposal rejected by the union on January 11. This latest
debacle sets the stage for a potential strike or lockout on February 4, at
12:01 am.
    "Council came back to mediation with a worse offer than the one that was
rejected in conciliation talks," said Karen Wilson, president of CUPE 53.
"Clearly this Council wants to push their workers to go on strike - how else
can you explain their provocative behaviour."
    CUPE 53 is seeking a similar deal to what other municipal workers
achieved with the same employer. "This is the latest example of the lack of
respect Council is showing to our members," said Wilson. "We refuse to be
treated this way and will not back down from seeking an equitable deal for
front-line workers who work hard for Whitby residents."
    The workers' contract expired on March 31, 2007. Outstanding issues
include wages and benefits. "We are urging Council to show respect and come
back to the table with a clear intent to resolve outstanding issues and
prevent a strike that will jeopardize important services in Whitby."

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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Canadian Union of Public Employees

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