Friday, July 10, 2009

Ho, Ho! What is this?

Talks to end city strike reconvene Friday at 9 a.m.
Series of proposals traded

WINDSOR, Ont. -- A marathon session of renewed bargaining between the city and the union representing nearly 1,800 striking workers ended at about 12:25 a.m. Friday so negotiators could get some sleep before reconvening at 9 a.m.

The two sides had returned to the table on Thursday with a new mediator.

Talks between CUPE and city officials began early in the morning Thursday and stretched into a long day that saw proposals and counter-proposals flying fast and furious.

But ... people are tired of striking CUPE workers that people are grouping up against them - union stile.

Business group takes on CUPE
Public sector wages, benefits come under fire

WINDSOR, Ont. -- A Canadian small business organization has turned Windsor’s 13-week strike by municipal workers into a battleground in its pursuit of public sector wage and benefit cutbacks.

Small business owners are “over a barrel” when it comes to paying taxes for public sector costs and services, limiting their ability to survive or expand and hire more workers, says the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

“They pay heavy taxes at the city level,” said Judith Andrew, vice-president for CFIB in Ontario. The organization has advocated for small business owners for 35 years and has more than 105,000 members across Canada.

“The unions have no concept of the environment we are in. They feel entitled regardless of what is going on in the city, province or country.”

CFIB has used local radio stations to promote its stance and issued a letter of support to Mayor Eddie Francis.

“It is not as though this long work stoppage is aimed at improving working conditions for those at an unfair disadvantage,” says a letter signed by president and CEO Catherine Swift and posted on CFIB’s website.

“Windsor’s CUPE workers currently enjoy contracts which, if described as generous, would be seriously understating the case. Precious few private sector employees can even dream of such rich benefits.”

This Windsor Star article, if described as fair and balanced, would be seriously wrong in the case. Wouldn't you think? No surprise that comments weren't enabled on this article.

But things are coming to an end - which is important. A sign that these contract negotiations will end is hopefully premonitioned (if that's a word) by the ending of the Veteran Cab strike that's been dragging on for 14 weeks.
WINDSOR, Ont. -- Veteran Cab and union leaders have reached a tentative deal to end a strike that lasted so long some drivers gave up hope and got jobs elsewhere.

He did say the agreement addresses the issues the union was concerned about. A main one has been the union’s fight for a reduction of the $453 a week lease drivers have to pay to the company. Time off and safety issues revolving around putting video cameras in cabs have also been sticking points, Farnham said.

“It needs to reflect the economy and the hardship facing Windsor and the fact ridership is down 25 to 30 per cent,” he said. “I believe we’ve met that.”

So, isn't that nice? It looks like things might get back to normal around here for a change - something that would be awfully nice.

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