The union representing 6,000 City of Toronto workers has announced it will not strike until noon Saturday to give members a cooling off period from heated contract negotiations. Union President Brian Cochrane told the media that the new deadline is "irrevocable."
The union includes workers who collect garbage, so if a strike proceeds Toronto residents will be forced to store their garbage indoors for an unspecified period of time or deliver it to designated areas in several public parks until it can be properly removed at a later date. Such an eventuality would be hugely unpopular given recent hot weather in the city.
Local 416 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees was legally allowed to strike at midnight on Thursday night.
The union leader was highly critical of the city’s bargaining team, telling reporters the municipality’s lead negotiator did not even listen as the workers presented their offer.
Issues under discussion include ending the contracting out of work to private companies and returning already contracted-out jobs to union members. These issues needed to be resolved before the union settles on monetary issues, Mr. Cochrane said.
In the event of a strike, garbage collection will not take place in the former municipalities of East York, North York, Scarborough or Toronto. Collection is handled by private companies in Etobicoke and York, and will not be interrupted.
Seven temporary garbage drop-off locations are planned, including Christie Pits Park, Ted Reeves Arena and Sunnyside Park. In addition, the city’s seven waste transfer stations will be opened to the public.