Winnipeg’s largest union sets strike deadline as talks with city falter

Thousands of city workers could go on strike by the middle of next week if they don’t strike a deal with the City of Winnipeg.

CUPE Local 500 said the deadline for the City of Winnipeg to offer an acceptable deal to replace the contract that expired in 2021 is 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, according to an email to members on Wednesday night.

If that doesn’t happen, the workers will go on strike starting at midnight.

“CUPE 500 has given the city ample time to come back to us with an acceptable deal, and instead they offer us long-winded ways to give front-line workers less than they deserve, leaving them further behind,” the email said.

Union members voted 93 per cent in favour of a strike mandate in July and opened their strike headquarters on Sept. 12. The union’s members work for 311, recreational services, water and waste, traffic and other municipal services.

Union president Gord Delbridge confirmed the strike deadline in a call with CBC News on Wednesday night, and said he’d offer further comments to media on Thursday morning.

CBC News has requested comment from the City of Winnipeg, but didn’t immediately receive a response.

Winnipeg has not experienced a general municipal workers strike since 1919.

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