March 3, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 79  

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NEWS

London workers set to strike?

By Allison Buchan-Terrell
Gazette Staff

Outside workers for the City of London voted 79 per cent in favor of a strike to support their contract demands.

The workers are a part of Local 107 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees which includes employees in transportation operations, sewer and road works, landfill operations, pollution control, recreation, solid waste collection and facilities and fleet services, such as snow plows and sanders.

The vote came after a few days of mediation resulted in a stalemate over wages and benefits. “We need to secure a decent benefit plan,” said Doug Wheeler, president of Local 107.

He explained that the city is trying to cut back on benefits and wages adding inside workers receive a higher level of pay and benefits.

The union has not set a strike date, but at midnight tonight they will be in a legal strike position. Wheeler said they are working hard to secure a deal and will be back in mediation this morning. “Workers are willing to strike.”

“We are hoping for a resolution,” said Maureen Spencer-Golvchenko, executive assistant to Mayor Anne Marie DiCicco, noting DiCicco is confident in the city’s negotiating team.

When asked what action would be taken by the Mayor’s office in the event of a strike, she responded that DiCicco’s stance while still bargaining is to not talk about contingency plans.

Wheeler acknowledged that the strike could have a big impact on the city, affecting trash collection, arenas and pollution control.

He said the city needs to be more realistic before a deal can reached.

Spencer-Golvchenko expressed optimism about reaching a deal before the strike deadline.

 

 

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