Union Solidarity Picket At City Hall

LPFFA photo from Facebook - rally July 9 at City Hall

Supporters of striking inside city workers held umbrellas and wore rain slickers as they marched and chanted at London City Hall on Thursday morning.

The London Professional Firefighters Association organized the mass picket that began at 7:30am. LPFFA posted its reasons on its Facebook page:

“The city has a clear strategy of austerity hardline bargaining and has introduced new and unacceptable concessions. We need to show our collective union strength, and we need to step up for our CUPE 101 Sisters and Brothers who are on the front lines of fighting to protect the rights of all unions.”

On Wednesday night, London city council held a closed-door, emergency meeting to deal solely with the on-again-off-again negotiations, which are currently off.

Late Wednesday afternoon, the city said it invited CUPE Local 101 to return to talks after they broke down over what the city claimed was potentially misleading wording in its latest proposal. (More HERE.)

“We understand that the union has expressed concern we might use part-time workers to replace full-time positions but that is not, and has never been, our intention,” says the city’s lead negotiator Adriana Hagan.

However, the divide between the two sides even extends to this invitation, which CUPE Local 101 says it hasn’t received.

“Despite the City’s media release issued late this afternoon (Wednesday), the Union has not received a formal request to return to the bargaining table. We cannot circumvent the formal process and accept an invitation which has not come to us through the mediator.”

CUPE Local 101 is holding an information session for union members on the state of negotiations on Thursday, 6pm, Western Fair District, Canada Building.