Talks bear no fruit as Oakville outside workers remain on strike

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Published November 6, 2023 at 5:05 pm

Oakville strike

CUPE Local 136 negotiators say the Town of Oakville and the union are still far apart on reaching a deal and said the Town’s negotiating team ended talks after a late night session Friday and an email back-and-forth on the weekend.

Outside workers and facility operators walked off the job Thursday morning and remain on strike after weekend negotiations ended with no deal.

The two sides met on Friday afternoon and remained at the table until “the employer went home” at 1:30 in the morning, said CUPE 136 President Peter Knafelc. “There were further discussions by email on the weekend, but the Town of Oakville declared an impasse on Sunday evening and ended discussions, leaving us with no choice but to remain on strike.”

The strike began on November 2 after the Town filed for a ‘no board,’ setting the clock ticking on a strike deadline. The Town the ran out the clock without offering bargaining dates until after the strike deadline, Knafelc added.

“It’s shameful. We couldn’t get the town to come back to the table without going on strike,” he said. “Despite that, we remain hopeful that the employer will return to the bargaining table ready to come to an agreement.”

Knafelc said the union is “grateful” for the messages of support received from the community and “look forward to getting back to doing the work we love in the community.”

He also said the workers “regret” the inconvenience the strike is having on Oakville residents and encourage residents to “contact their councillors to tell them they want the Town to settle this dispute fairly and quickly.”

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