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City of Toronto workers vote in favour of strike mandate

Last Updated Jan 20, 2020 at 3:17 pm EDT

Pedestrians walk outside Toronto City Hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019. (FILE/Brent Lewin/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Toronto city workers represented by CUPE Local 79 have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike mandate.

The union says 90 per cent of those who voted on Friday said “yes” to a strike if needed.

Negotiations for new contracts between the City of Toronto and the union have been ongoing since early December.

The union represents over 20,000 people who work in various departments including public health, childcare, and long term care homes.

“City workers are expecting a contract that is fair and recognizes their hard work,” Dave Mitchell, president of CUPE Local 79 said in a release. “Our members took big hits in their last two contracts and this vote gives a clear signal that they won’t stand for more — they’ve had enough.”

“We’re united and determined to negotiate a contract that recognizes our members’ dedication to delivering high quality services to Toronto’s communities.”

The City’s outside workers, represented by CUPE Local 416, also voted earlier last week in favour of a strike mandate.

The union and city negotiators will begin meeting with a provincially appointed conciliation officer later this month.

CUPE 416 represents nearly 5,000 outside workers. Their contract expired at the end of December 2019.