Small town mayor turns down arbitration, strike drags on in Bonfield, Ont.
BONFIELD, ONT. — The municipal strike in Bonfield, Ont., continues after mayor Randall McLaren refused CUPE’s offer to send outstanding issues to arbitration by a neutral third party.
The offer would have allowed a speedy restoration of municipal services, ending the strike that began Aug. 1.
"CUPE made every attempt to reach a settlement," said the union’s Ontario regional director Linda Thurston-Neeley. "We were not able to come to an agreement… but offered to send outstanding issues to an independent arbitrator so our members could go back to serving the good people of Bonfield — an offer the mayor flatly rejected."
The strike began in August after the mayor presented CUPE with potential concessions to its contract, including the possibility of contracting out services.
CUPE filed charges of unfair labour practices against its employer for its actions throughout the strike as well as previous incidents.
The charges are currently before the Ontario Labour Relations Board.