Toronto could see outside worker strike, lockout Feb. 5

Labour Minister issues ‘no board’ report setting countdown to job action

Toronto outside workers are one step closer to a strike or lockout after Ontario Labour Minister Linda Jeffrey confirmed a “no board” report has been sent to the city and the union representing the workers.

A "no-board" report means a conciliator is recommending that a conciliation board not be brought in. Today’s announcement means the union can strike or the city can lock out workers on Feb. 5.

Toronto requested the "no-board" report on Dec. 12, citing an impasse in its negotiations with Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 416.

Should job action take place, garbage collection, ambulance service and snow removal could all be affected.

“We will have contingency plans in place to address key city services in the event of a disruption,” Toronto city manager Joe Pennachetti said in a statement. “It's important to note, however, we are still at the table with Local 416 and we are working hard to reach a negotiated settlement.”

CUPE 416 hasn’t commented on the report because the two parties are still negotiating.

The outside workers contract expired Dec. 31, 2011.

CUPE Local 416 represents about 6,000 city employees, including garbage collectors, road and parks maintenance workers, animal control officers and paramedics.

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