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Waterloo, Ont. – City of Waterloo workers, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), are seeking a fair deal for 110 ‘outside’ municipal workers, while the City continues to push an inferior deal that could force the workers on strike as early as January 15, 2009 at 12:01 am.

“While Council gave significant increases to management and select non-union city employees, they refuse to offer a fair package to front-line unionized workers,” said Mark Charboneau, CUPE national representative for CUPE 1542.  “This double standard treatment must stop or Council will bear the responsibility for a municipal strike that will affect snowplowing, arena operations and other services.”  Last night, the workers voted 100 per cent to take strike action if a fair deal is not reached with the city.

The municipal outside workers provide services such as public works, water distribution, sewer and wastewater maintenance, parks and pool maintenance, traffic signs maintenance, cemeteries services, arenas and RIM park operations, winter roads snow plowing, sanding and salting services and others.  “Our members provide important services that keep our communities running smoothly,” said Peter Filato, president of CUPE 1542.  “All we are seeking is a fair deal so we can continue to provide services to residents of Waterloo.”

According to public reports, Council approved $1.8 million in wage increases for management and select non-union city employees, including retroactive increases.  “Our members serve the same community as other city employees, and we expect management to treat our members in a similar manner – with respect and fairness,” said Charboneau.

Mediation talks are scheduled for Tuesday, January 13.  The workers’ last contract expired on December 31, 2008.

For further information, please contact:

Mark Charboneau                        James Chai
CUPE National Rep.                     CUPE Communications
519-743-7781                             416-292-3999
519-242-9768 cell