Following a marathon day of bargaining in which some progress was made, negotiators for Local 1600 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 1600) will return to the table this morning in an effort to conclude negotiations with the Toronto Zoo before a midnight lockout or strike deadline.
“While we have been able to resolve some issues with the Zoo, we haven’t made enough progress and I am concerned about our ability to conclude negotiations before the deadline,” said Christine McKenzie, President of CUPE 1600.
Although negotiators have made progress on some issues, there has been no movement on several issues the union considers critical, including changes proposed by the Zoo that would greatly diminish workers’ employment security and give the Zoo more power to contract out work.
“Any efforts by the Zoo to weaken workers’ job security and contracting out language are non-starters,” warned McKenzie.
“Our members were very clear when they voted unanimously to give our bargaining committee a strike mandate if they felt it was necessary-weakening their job security and contracting out language is bad for our community, bad for the Zoo and most importantly it will be bad for the animals,” she added.