Toronto Zoo deal ratified by union workers

Pandas will make their debut on schedule after CUPE workers give thumbs up to deal that contains modest wage increases
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 04/30/2013

The Pandas can breathe a sigh of relief.

Unionized workers at the Toronto Zoo have ratified a tentative agreement with the Toronto Zoo, according to Local 1600 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

The agreement was reached shortly after 2 a.m. on April 26 and ratified this week. It contains modest improvements to wages, according to the union.

Local 1600 represents more than 400 zookeepers, horticulturalists, trades people, maintenance, administration and public relations staff, concession and ride operators at the zoo.

The pressure was on to get a deal done prior to May 18, when the zoo will be taking the wraps off its much anticipated panda exhibit. Two giant pandas — Er Shun and Da Mao — have been loaned to the zoo by China.

“For the sake of the zoo-going public, we’re relieved that this period of uncertainty is over,” said Christine McKenzie, president of CUPE Local 1600. “Our members are hard at work to ensure the zoo is in the best possible condition so the public has an experience to remember when they come to visit this season.”

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