Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

April 07, 2014 10:27 ET

CUPE outside workers react to St. John's snow-clearing criticisms

ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(Marketwired - April 7, 2014) - The union representing outside workers with the City of St. John's says it would like to set the record straight on recent snow-clearing efforts.

CUPE National Representative Ed White says, "The members of Local 569 are taking issue with some of the public statements that have been made about recent storm events and snow-clearing.

"First of all, we do not believe the mayor has been fully informed. The streets that were supposedly missed in the Southlands area of the City were a result of equipment being redirected to other areas to deal with heavy drifting."

As White explains, "Given that the city uses an elaborate Automated Vehicle Locater (AVL) system, it certainly could have been recognized that some of the streets in Southlands had not been plowed. Electronic technology can be a great tool, but it can't replace equipment or manpower."

Says White, "As has already been discussed at length in the media, the layoff of seasonal staff at a time when a significant snowfall was forecasted was definitely a major factor in the problems from last week's storm."

Local 569 President Terry Bennett, meanwhile, says, "We cautiously agree with performing a review of snow-clearing operations but also question who or what organization would have the expertise to conduct such a review."

Says Bennett, "Any review will be a waste of taxpayer's money unless extensive consultation is undertaken with the men and women that operate the equipment for the City."

Contact Information

  • Ed White
    CUPE National Representative
    (709) 753-0732 (o)

    John McCracken
    CUPE Communications Representative
    (902) 455-4180 (o)