LONDON, Ont. – Mediation talks between the City of London and CUPE 101 representing inside workers broke down again this evening after the City failed, yet again, to move off from their previous positions even though the union put forward a substantive proposal to address all of the outstanding issues that led to the strike.
“The City is not interested in reaching a settlement to end this strike,” said Shelley Navarroli, president of CUPE 101. “We put forward proposals to address all the outstanding issues. The City’s bargaining committee, who remained absent from the bargaining table for quite some time then came back after 5 and a half hours and responded with minimal movement from their previous tabled positions.”
The City cannot or is not prepared to explain their specific needs for the proposed changes that management is trying to extract from the City’s inside unit. “We asked them from the very beginning to discuss with us their need for these changes and they have yet to demonstrate the need for their proposed changes to the collective agreement,” continued Navarroli. “Similar to any dispute resolution, you need to have a discussion in order to understand and attempt to resolve the issue.”
“So today we offered to send all outstanding issues to an independent third party for arbitration so the strike could end immediately and workers could go back to serve the residents of London, but the City’s representative indicated that “they are not interested in binding arbitration”, said Navarroli.
“The City is not willing to bargain and they refused to send the outstanding issues to arbitration to end this strike, so how could this strike end,” asks Navarroli. “From what we’ve seen so far it would appear that there is a hidden agenda to target our inside unit and we do not know why we are being targeted.” The City remained steadfast to seek contract take-aways from the predominately women workers of the inside unit while the mainly male workers from fire, police and the outside unit kept similar language provisions in their previous rounds of bargaining.
For further information, please contact:
Shelley Navarroli, CUPE 101 President, 519-432-6695
Fred Blake, CUPE National Representative, 519-433-1754
James Chai, CUPE Communications, 416-458-3983