Union pauses strike action, city confirms tentative agreement has been reached

By News Staff

A tentative agreement has been reached between the city and the union representing city workers. The City of Winnipeg issued a statement Tuesday evening confirming the matter, after both parties provided conflicting information earlier in the day.

BACKGROUND: Winnipeg nearing first general municipal workers strike since 1919

“The City will not be releasing details of the settlement at this time, which is still subject to a ratification vote by CUPE’s membership. If approved by CUPE’s membership, the settlement will be presented to Council for its consideration,” said the City in their evening statement.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 500 – representing 5,000 city workers – said Monday night that a tentative agreement had been reached. CUPE 500 said it was pausing potential strike action as a result.

City workers were scheduled to go on strike as of 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.

But the City of Winnipeg says an agreement has not been reached, and that negotiations are ongoing.

“The City is seeking clarity from CUPE regarding the statement it issued,” Michael Jack, the city’s chief administrative officer, said in a statement. “We acknowledge that this latest development is a confusing one for our employees and for Winnipeggers who rely on our programs and services.

“The City remains hopeful that it can reach a settlement with the union without a labour disruption.”

CUPE 500 voted to strike in July, and strike headquarters have been set up since mid-September.

The union says wages are the main issue, claiming the city is facing a recruitment and retention crisis.

It would be the first time city workers hit the picket line in a general strike action since 1919.

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