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Toronto maps out contingency plan as strike deadline with outdoor workers looms

TORONTO – The city of Toronto says it’s preparing for possible strike action from thousands of its outdoor workers.

Officials say members of CUPE Local 416, the union representing about 5,000 city employees, will be in a position to go on strike or be locked out as of Feb. 27.

The city says it’s hoping weekend negotiations conducted with help from a conciliator appointed by the Ontario Ministry of Labour can head off any job action.

But Toronto City manager Chris Murray says garbage collection, recreation centres and city-owned event spaces would all be affected if a strike does take place.

The union says the city was the one to impose the deadline for job action, and the only contingency plan necessary is to reach a fair deal.

Both Local 416 and CUPE Local 79, representing tens of thousands of the city’s indoor workers, have been without a contract since Dec. 31.