Toronto city workers vote to support strike mandate
People walk in front of Toronto City Hall. (Chris Kitching/CP24)
TORONTO -- According to CUPE Local 79, the union representing more than 20,000 city workers, 90 per cent of participants in Friday’s vote supported the strike mandate.
“City workers are expecting a contract that is fair and recognizes their hard work," Dave Mitchell, president of CUPE Local 79, said in a statement. "Our members took big hits in their last two contracts and this vote gives a clear signal that they won't stand for more — they've had enough.”
“We’re united and determined to negotiate a contract that recognizes our members’ dedication to delivering high quality services to Toronto’s communities,”
Negotiations between the union and the city have been ongoing since early December.
By supporting a strike mandate, city workers have given the bargaining team permission to call a strike at a later date if negotiations continue to stall.
The union has not said what their points of contention include, but Mitchell said that he hopes to see “more funding from the city and the city’s budget.”
“Its’s quite disappointing to me that the city continues to spend less per capita,” he told CTV News Toronto. “We are a local that provides a lot of services for the city of Toronto and our members do an incredible job.”
Mitchell said that as the population grows in Toronto, it will change the way it looks and the needs for services provided by his members.
Among the members represented by CUPE Local 79 are those who work in emergency services, homeless shelters, transportation, public health, social services, recreation programs and long-term care homes.