Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

May 23, 2009 22:13 ET

CUPE Offers to Return to Work

WINDSOR, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 23, 2009) - Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) members of CUPE 82 and 543, striking municipal workers at the City of Windsor, is willing to return to work immediately, however the mayor and his bargaining team will not cooperate.

Talks broke down at 7:30 p.m. today

"We have done all we can and we've made significant moves. We agreed that post retirement benefits for new employees could end at age 65 and we offered to cost share an optional benefits plan for them. The City refused," said Jim Wood, president of CUPE 82, 400 striking outdoor workers.

"I actually made a verbal offer to get our members back on the job tomorrow if the City would agree to binding arbitration, but the mayor's people wouldn't consider the offer.

"Our members don't want to be on strike," "We've tried everything we can to resolve the issues but there has been no movement from the City. Our members take no pleasure in causing difficulties for their friends and neighbours. But this is a matter of fairness and equity."

"It speaks volumes about the mayor and his team that they refuse to work with us to get the city back to normal and our issues resolved by an independent third party," said Jean Fox, president of CUPE 543, 1400 striking indoor workers.

CUPE presented many cost saving initiatives during bargaining and they have been ignored. The main issues are retirement benefits and a new, two-tier compensation system for new employees.

"The mayor is using the economic downturn as a reason for seeking concessions and claiming it will save the city money. However, his plan won't save money for 30 years," said Fox.

Contact Information

  • CUPE National Rep.
    Pierina DeBellis
    CUPE 82
    Jim Wood
    CUPE National Rep.
    Brian Blakely