Sunday, April 19, 2009

Inside workers of the City of Windsor, Ontario, represented by Local 543 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, have joined the strike initiated by outside workers of Local 82. The story from CUPE follows below. There is still an ongoing online solidarity campaign. See THIS LINK to send your message of support to Windsor City Council. There will be a rally in Windsor tomorrow at 5pm for CUPE members and their supporters. See the website of Local 543 for further details.
CUPE 543 joins local 82 on strike in Windsor:
CUPE 543's 1,400 inside workers are now on strike against the City of Windsor.

Jean Fox, president of CUPE 543, was disappointed with the outcome of April 17's mediation: "It came down to a few issues but one major: post-retirement benefits", said Fox. "The City refused to move and kept asking for concessions without offering anything in return. They left us no choice but to go on strike."

The City is looking to impose a two tier system for post retirement benefits, which will not result in any savings for the Corporation for approximately 30 years. The City refused to discuss any wage increase until the Union would agree with this proposal.

Contrary to the Mayor's statement, the Union was not seeking a 3% increase: "We brought many cost saving initiatives to the table, which were simply ignored by the City representatives", added Fox.

"Windsor's Mayor and City Council are looking to use the recession as a cover to demand rollbacks that will stay with city workers long after the economy has recovered. Cutting back on public services at a time when our City needs them most shows a lack of vision and leadership."
Members of local 543 now join outside workers - CUPE 82 - on the picket line, who are now on their fourth day of strike.

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