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Toronto Garbage Strike Not Quite Over Yet

Apparently, making premature declarations about the resolving of major matters seems to be the popular thing to do as of late. Late last week, The Bank of Canada went on record by saying the recession was over, only for that declaration to be challenged days later.

Earlier this week, it had been reported that a deal had been reached between striking city workers represented by CUPE Local 79 and CUPE Local 416 and the City of Toronto. Today, however, that story too appears to have been hastily reported.

According to Toronto Sun's Jonathan Jenkins, Toronto Mayor David Miller was quoted at a press conference today as saying: “It's very frustrating…Neither union has agreed to back to work protocol. I'm hoping that may change over the next few hours.”

Unfortunately, Toronto residents will not see the resumption of garbage pickup, daycare or summer camps as early as they expected. In what has been an already frustrating summer, news of the agreement to end the strike not yet being reached is truly aggravating for Torontonians.

According to a report released by The Canadian Press on, votes on an agreement to end the strike were cast by members of Local 79 – representing inside workers – however, members of Local 416 – representing outside workers – were instructed to no-show the process.

At today's press conference, held at 2 p.m., Mayor Miller remained adamant that the city was doing all it could to resolve the issue. He was also quoted as saying: “I want to be clear about this. It is the unions who are on strike who have kept their employees out…It is not the city who has been preventing them from coming back to work nor has the city ever said that we don't want people back to work.”

Miller noted that the city council's vote would likely take place on Friday although it remains unknown when outside workers will vote. Mark Ferguson, president of Local 416 representing 6,000 outside workers stated that there are “still final pieces to put into place.” Workers and Toronto citizens alike are hopeful that an agreement to get city workers back on the job will be met sooner than later.

According to The Canadian Press report: “The tentative deal gives the workers wage increases totalling just under six per cent over three years and a compromise was worked out on sick days – one of the key sticking points nearing the end of negotiations.” The compromise eliminates the employees ability to “bank” any of their permitted 18 sick days if not used during the year.

At this time, however, citizens of the City of Toronto will be forced to continue to wait for the resolution of this matter, in hopes that things will literally be cleaned up soon.

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