Protests mark opening of new temporary dumps
Protesters at a newly opened dump site at Campbell park outdoor rink held a march and laid a wreath to symbolize the poisoning of their park.
They also pressured people to drop their trash elsewhere. They yelled "shame, shame!" at those coming by and tried to block them from accessing the site.
By 7 p.m. Thursday, the dump appeared to be about 20 per cent full only 12 hours after it opened for business.
Another protest occurred at the Ted Reeve arena site, which is now closed.
On day 25 of Toronto's municipal strike, two new temporary dump sites opened up besides Campbell park outdoor rink at 225 Campbell Ave. (near Lansdowne and Dupont):
- Clairlea park arena (45 Fairfax Cr., near Warden and St. Clair)
- L'Amoreux park parking lot, 100 Silver Springs Blvd. (near Birchmount and Finch)
One resident in the Clairlea area was taken aback by how close the temporary dump is to their home -- about 14 metres.
Coun. Adrian Heaps said the rules only require the dumps to be five metres from a residential home.
Ironically, a striking CUPE worker lives near the Clairlea site. He urged one motorist on Thursday to take the refuse to one of the seven permanent transfer stations. "I'm going to be smelling your garbage as well as all these other peoples' garbage -- all week, all month," he said.
However, "Dave" told CTV Toronto he remains a strong supporter of the strike.
"Some of these people have been working for the city for 20, 30 years. And they're going to lose all this sick time in one fatal swipe? I don't think so," he said.
Wages and the treatment of sick pay remain the key sticking points in preventing a deal from being reached. Union members currently get to bank unused sick days (they get 18 per year) and can get up to six month's pay at retirement.
The city made a public offer on Friday, which the unions rejected. The unions have since made a counter-offer.
When asked if it was worth having a dump almost in his backyard as a result of the stubborn dispute, Dave replied, "That's a tough question."
The city also closed three temporary dumps on Wednesday evening:
- Earlscourt park
- Ted Reeve arena
- Wishing Well park
Security will patrol the sites and pest control workers will continue to apply chemicals to control insect and vermin populations.
Geoff Rathbone, general manager of solid waste management services, said Wednesday that the city has issued 328 tickets so far for illegal dumping -- along with 6,800 warnings.
Many were issued at temporary dumps, but others were issued for garbage dropped on roadways or in neighbourhoods, he said.
Some CUPE members who decided to give up on the strike and return to work were blocked by strikers from entering a city social services office on Attwell Drive.
"They should leave the union," striker Ali Mallah told CTV Toronto on Thursday.
"If they want to cross the line and work for the management and the city while we are in a legal strike, then they should resign their position and apply for managerial position."
The strike began on June 22.
City manager Joe Pennachetti said at a news briefing on Wednesday that about 600 members of CUPE have applied to return to work.
There are about 24,000 CUPE members who work for the city. Local 416 represents 6,200 outside workers, while the inside workers are represented by Local 79.
The city said bargaining continues on virtually a 24/7 basis with the unions.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Austin Delaney