On Canada Day, the City of Toronto and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 416 — which represents about 7,000 outside waste collectors, park maintenance staff, and street cleaners — returned to the negotiating table for the first time since the strike began on June 26, 2002. The city has offered the union a pact that includes a 9 per cent wage increase over three years, but the union says that the deal doesn’t provide security for employees with less than 17 years of service. The city says it will provide job security only to those who have already been on the job for 10 years.
In the meantime, residents and businesses can drop off their waste at designated drop-off points across the city. Some others allow their waste to accumulate, which looks bad and smells even worse, especially while the city enters the third day of a heat wave. On June 28, a frustrated man with an axe handle threatened striking workers after their picket line blocked his entry into the City Hall parking garage. The man was taken into police custody.
The Gay Pride Week celebrations and the CHIN picnic went ahead as planned. On July 22, approximately 35,000 people are expected to visit Toronto for a weeklong religious event.