POLITICS

Last ditch effort to prevent Monday strike by London city workers fails

05/24/2015 02:28 EDT | Updated 05/24/2016 05:59 EDT
LONDON, Ont. - A final effort to avert a strike by hundreds of London, Ont., municipal workers has failed.

Contract talks deadlocked late Sunday night after a last ditch four hour bargaining session.

The 750 inside workers — members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 101 — were poised to set up picket lines first thing Monday morning.

The employees, who last went on strike in 1979, work in areas that include administration, building inspections, bylaw enforcement, tourism and road construction.

Thousands of city residents could be affected by the strike, however, Mayor Matt Brown said that while some service delays should be expected, many managers would be redeployed to try to keep things running as smoothly as possible.

Brown said in a release Sunday that the City's bargaining team "remains committed to getting back to the table as soon as the union negotiators are ready to address the significant issues in a meaningful way.”

The union has accused the City of refusing to back down from demands for concessions including work hours, contracting out and retiree benefits.

Adriana Hagan, the City's lead negotiator, issued a release after the talks collapsed Sunday, accusing the union of failing to address the City's "significant issues."

"We continue to seek operational flexibility and financial sustainability and to update the current contract to meet the modern needs of our community," she said. "Instead, we are being ignored.”

London residents are being advised to check the City's website for information about services impacted by the strike.

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(AM980)