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Toronto Zoo staff walk off the job in contract dispute

Toronto Zoo staff walk off the job in contract dispute

More than 400 employees at the Toronto Zoo have walked off the job to back their contract demands and the facility will be closed to the public as of Thursday morning.

CUPE Local 1600 said the walkout began at midnight at Canada’s largest zoo after the two sides failed to come to terms on the key issue of job security.

“We are incredibly disappointed to have to take strike action, but the Toronto Zoo’s refusal to move on job security left us with no alternative,” local president Christine McKenzie said in a statement.

McKenzie said the union presented a “comprehensive offer” to the employer hours before the deadline.

But a spokeswoman for the zoo said it has been “more than fair and reasonable.”

Jennifer Tracey said in a statement that the union “has not provided any flexibility” and the zoo’s “fair and reasonable” proposals include a wage increase and “satisfactorily address the issues of job security.”

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