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City workers threatening to strike next week

A union representing many city workers is threatening to go on strike next week.

CUPE Local 500 represents more than 4300 city employees. Some manage Winnipeg’s water and wastewater systems while others work at 311, pools and recreation centres.

The previous contract expired February 2021 and the union’s bargaining committee says if a new contract is not reached by next Wednesday, they’ll strike. It would be the first general municipal strike since 1919.

Union head Gord Delbridge says money is the main issue.

“People are struggling and we understand everyone is struggling at this point in time. We know the employer, the City of Winnipeg as an organization, is struggling,” said Delbridge. “Our members have been very reasonable with their ask. We’re willing to take a reduction in our standard of living, but we want to share that burden.”

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“They’re not offering us anything we can recommend to our members. When they do come to us with an offer that we can accept, that’s what we’re hopeful for, that’s what we’re asking for.”

READ MORE: CUPE 500 opens Winnipeg strike headquarters

The city says it offered CUPE a further settlement on Thursday.
“The city’s negotiating team has worked very hard to reach a fair deal for our CUPE-represented workforce that avoids a labour disruption that would impact the important city services residents rely on,” said City of Winnipeg CAO Michael Jack. “We strongly encourage CUPE’s negotiating committee to accept the city’s latest offer and take it to their membership before any job action is taken.”

Jack says many city services and programs could either be reduced or temporarily interrupted and certain facilities may be temporarily closed to members of the public during a strike.




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