Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Second strike averted, but first strike continues

Just yesterday, we reported that the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 5500, representing supervisors and transit special constables, voted 97 per cent in favour of a strike if it was necessary. You may be happy to know, however, that the strike didn't prove to be necessary, as CBC.ca is reporting that CUPE Local 5500 reached a tentative deal with the city on Tuesday.

Mayor Larry O'Brien, on his blog, used the positive news to express his confidence that the city is willing and able to negotiate with unions without resorting to third-party mediation, and to ask the city's other large transit union--the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 279--to meet at the negotiating table:
"This demonstrates that the unions and the City are more than capable of reaching an agreement through negotiations. It is much better to be sitting down at the table finding solutions rather than simply going to an outside party to work out important issues.

"I ask again that the leadership of ATU 279 come back to the bargaining table and deal with the important issue of scheduling. We want you to be there and I hope you will come back and work with our team to make Ottawa a better city."
Service remains shut down, however, as the dispute between the city and ATU 279 continues.