The strike deadline for Toronto’s outside workers, which includes those who collect garbage, plow snow, and fix potholes, has been extended 48-hours.
CUPE Local 416 and the City were both to be in a legal strike position or lockout position as of 12:01 am on Thursday, but that has now been extended to 12:01 am on Saturday, February 29.
In a joint statement, both parties said they have been in collective bargaining since September, including for the last month with the assistance of a Ministry of Labour appointed conciliation officer.
“In this time, the bargaining committees have reached agreement on some issues, with other issues outstanding,” reads the statement.
During discussions between the parties, the union that represents outside workers has been trying to renegotiate its now-expired collective agreement with the city, which expired at the end of last year. This includes negotiations for job security, parental leave, benefits, and wages.
In an effort to continue to work to reach a negotiated collective agreement, the bargaining committees have agreed to jointly retain William Kaplan to act as a mediator between the parties, and to extend the strike deadline by 48 hours.
The extension could not have come at a better time as Toronto braces to be hit with up to 25 cm of snow. And as you could imagine, without snowplow drivers working, the city would be absolute chaos.