Bonfield, Ont. – CUPE, the union representing 16 striking Bonfield municipal workers, has been informed by the provincial mediator that the lawyer who represents the Mayor has refused to return to the bargaining table to help end the strike, even though the Mayor of Bonfield himself told striking workers to call the Township’s lawyer to resume bargaining, as the strike enters its fourth week.
"When pushed by the residents and workers to return to bargaining to end the strike, the Mayor told us to call his lawyer, and then when the mediator contacted the lawyer, the hired consultant flatly refused to return to the table unless we agree to their terms," said Steve Boyle.
"It begs the question, who’s running Bonfield? The Mayor seems more interested in running away from scheduled meetings and putting out misinformation, instead of moving to restore public services." CUPE is urging other councillors to step up and get involved to resolve this dispute and restore public services.
"The Mayor not only pushed their workers to strike, cancelling several public meetings including the council meeting that was scheduled for August 27, he is now refusing, through his lawyer, to find ways to end the strike," continued Boyle.
"A strike will not end on its own and it can only end at the bargaining table with both sides prepared to sit down to negotiate and work out a deal that’s fair. We’ve been prepared to bargain from the beginning, but the Mayor cancelled bargaining dates and tried to impose his own terms and conditions – now we’re still waiting for the Mayor and council to do their part to end this strike."
"We are thankful for the support we continue to receive from Bonfield residents – we know their patience has been tested by the Mayor," said Boyle.
"The community is now organizing a spaghetti dinner fundraiser to support the strikers and our members are buoyed by the community’s help to ensure they get a fair deal. This speaks volumes about the community’s commitment to fairness for their own workers. We are calling on the councillors, who represent the residents, to follow their lead and do what it takes to restore public services and treat workers fairly."
For further information, please contact:
Steve Boyle, CUPE National Representative, 705-662-5975
James Chai, CUPE Communications, 905-739-3999