City workers in Quebec can strike: court

Union representing City of Sherbrooke workers says it is happy with decision
||Last Updated: 08/10/2011

The Quebec Superior Court is denying the City of Sherbrooke’s request to suspend blue-collar workers ability to strike. The city employees began their strike on Sat., August 6.

The union representing the workers says it is pleased with the Court’s decision.

“Now we can continue to strike in a way that will cause the least inconvenience to our fellow citizens," says Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Local 2729 vice-president Mario Fontaine in a press release. “The strategy of the municipal leaders is shameful: to improve their balance of power, they have tried to shape the strike into a form that would make it as inconvenient as possible."

The work stoppage means public schools, beaches, municipal parks, tennis courts and indoor facilities in Sherbrooke will continue to be closed. However, essential services, such as garbage collection, will not be affected.

The main issues in negotiations are employee salaries and the use of sub-contracting.

The union has been without a contract since Dec. 31, 2007 and held a 13-day strike from Dec. 26, 2010 to Jan. 7, 2011. In the spring of 2010, the blue-collar workers voted 98 per cent in favour of a strike mandate.

CUPE Local 2729 represents about 450 city workers. They work on roads, sewers, garbage collection, and in recreation centres and parks. They also include engineers, building engineers and horticulturists.

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