Placentia workers reach deal after 7-week strike

After seven weeks on the picket line, employees with the Town of Placentia are returning to work Thursday morning. 

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 1761 announced Wednesday it has reached a deal with the town that includes wage increases, pushing back against the zero wage increase offered by the town.

The four-year contract, which is retroactive to April 2018, includes a $500 signing bonus in Year 1 and 2, a 30-cent raise in Year 3 and a 40-cent raise and $100 signing bonus in the final year.

"We altered our proposal a little bit to work toward getting a deal," said local union president Gerry Quilty.

Ryan Cooke/CBC

Quilty said the union conceded to a two per cent raise in years 3 and 4, because the town "would not look at that."

The workers are looking forward to returning to their jobs, Quilty said, and some relationships will need to be mended. 

"[The mayor] is not easy to deal with so, you know, it was a decision we had to make: are you willing to stay out here for months? Are you willing to stay out here in the winter, because the mayor is stubborn?" 

Three non-union managers remained on the job during the strike.

CUPE said the 14 months of bargaining is the longest round in the local's history.

Quilty said he looks forward to "getting back to their lives."

Fifteen municipal workers are employed as clerical staff, arena attendants, maintenance workers, water treatment operators, labourers and municipal enforcement officers.

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