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article imageToronto City Workers Strike May Be Coming To An End Soon

By KJ Mullins     Jul 27, 2009 in Politics
After 36 days of dealing with piling trash and the loss of city pools this summer Toronto could see picket lines disappearing as early as Thursday.
On Wednesday the union members will vote for the latest ratification of the union's demands according to CUPE Local 79 spokeswoman Ann Dembinski.
Dembinski told the Canadian Press that the labour relations were affected negatively by tactics during the negotiations.
"Labour relations has been set back decades," she said Monday. "It will not be the same for years to come because of this labour disruption. Never have I seen anything like this."
While Dembinski was critical of Toronto Mayor David Miller releasing details of the bargaining offer, Miller countered with it being "important for us to tell the people of Toronto the facts."
The Globe and Mail quoted Miller about the possible end of the strike:
"They [the terms] are fair to workers, affordable to Torontonians and will allow the city the flexibility it needs," he said, adding that "without question, this has been a difficult period."
The city manager promised residents that the city would move quickly resuming services.
"We need to rely on some additional patience and understanding in the days to come ... we will work as quickly as possible to resume full services," City Manager Joseph Pennachetti said.
Early Monday morning the final framework was ironed out after nine hours when a self-imposed midnight deadline that CUPE Local 416 president Mark Ferguson had set forth lapsed.
According to CUPE's Ferguson the union fought all the concessions that the city had sought. If that turns out to be the case Mayor Miller may be in serious hot water.
Ferguson was quoted by the Toronto Star:
"As I have said from the beginning, we will end this strike like we began," he told a news conference this morning at the Scarborough hotel where his local's negotiation took place.
The city had been fighting the union's demand of banking sick days. With Ferguson's statement that the city dropped all of their concessions it would differ from what Miller told Councillor Doug Holyday on Monday.
The Toronto Star reports:
"They couldn't have settled something contrary without coming back to the labour relations committee," said Holyday.
" If we were to take all the concessions off the table, let them keep sick bank and pay higher than we want to, the show would be over. The mayor would walk the plank. The mayor would be done. And he would have a tough time to get the deal ratified at council."
The final word though will not be in until the union's vote on Wednesday.
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