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Whitby, Ont. – 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, please contact: 

Karen Wilson                Betty Sommers          James Chai
CUPE 53 President       CUPE National Rep.   CUPE Communications
905-925-2873              905-439-7044           416-292-3999