Manitoba

Winnipeg's largest union sets strike deadline as talks with city falter

Thousands of city workers could go on strike by the middle of next week if they don't strike a deal with the City of Winnipeg.

CUPE Local 500 says city has had ample time to give acceptable offers to replace contract that expired in 2021

Members of CUPE Local 500, who work for the City of Winnipeg, unveiled a strike headquarters in September. The union says its strike deadline is Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. (CUPE Local 500/Twitter)

Thousands of city workers could go on strike by the middle of next week if they don't strike a deal with the City of Winnipeg.

CUPE Local 500 said the deadline for the City of Winnipeg to offer an acceptable deal to replace the contract that expired in 2021 is 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, according to an email to members on Wednesday night.

If that doesn't happen, the workers will go on strike starting at midnight.

"CUPE 500 has given the city ample time to come back to us with an acceptable deal, and instead they offer us long-winded ways to give front-line workers less than they deserve, leaving them further behind," the email said.

Union members voted 93 per cent in favour of a strike mandate in July and opened their strike headquarters on Sept. 12. The union's members work for 311, recreational services, water and waste, traffic and other municipal services.

Union president Gord Delbridge confirmed the strike deadline in a call with CBC News on Wednesday night, and said he'd offer further comments to media on Thursday morning.

In an email sent late Wednesday night to CBC News, the city said it received formal strike notice from CUPE that same evening. The city "is committed to negotiating a settlement" and wants to see CUPE return to the bargaining table, the email said.

Winnipeg has not experienced a general municipal workers strike since 1919.

now