Toronto Municipal Workers Strike Over, Pending Ratification Vote
CUPE local 79 has reached a tentative deal with the city, almost surely bringing the 36 day Toronto municipal workers strike to an end. With news coming this morning that the city and CUPE local 416 had reached a tentative deal, the focus of negotiations shifted to securing a deal with local 79. With ratification votes planned for Wednesday, picket lines could be removed as early as Thursday, marking the return of the approximately 30000 workers who walked off the job June 22nd.
Although both sides refuse to disclose the details of the deal prior to ratification, Mayor Miller and the president of local 79, Ann Dembinski, are claiming to have achieved their goals. Dembinski expressed confidence that the deal will be ratified by union members, while Miller said that the deal satisfies the city's mandate and "meets the principles set at the outset of negotiations."
With such rhetoric from both sides, it remains unclear why a deal was not reached earlier. In announcing that local 416 had reached a tentative agreement earlier, union President Mark Ferguson reported that the city removed its concessions from the table at around 7:30 this morning, but in the absence of details about the deal, it's impossible to verify this claim.
Toronto city manager, Joe Pennachetti, is currently working on a plan to have services back up and running as quickly as possible. Although he too was unable to give specifics, he plans to hold a press conference after the ratification votes. As information comes available about the resumption of services, it will be posted to the Access Toronto website.
Photo by uwajedi.
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