CAW Members on Strike at University of Toronto

May 6, 2009, 9:30 AM EST

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CAW Local 2003 members who work as operating engineers at the University of Toronto are on strike as they fight employer demands for a one-year agreement with a 1.5 per cent wage increase.

The university left the bargaining table on May 1 after stating that further talks must begin with acceptance of a one-year deal at 1.5 per cent. The strike began at 12:01 a.m. May 2.

"The university has targeted our members in an effort to break the pattern - bargained with 12 other unions at U of T and representing close to 6,000 members - of three per cent in each year of their agreements. By doing so they want to break the membership and our members will have none of that," said Brian Stevens, CAW national representative.

The CAW represents 84 members who work at the three University of Toronto campuses - downtown, Scarborough and Mississauga. These CAW members are responsible for heating, cooling and ventilation at all university buildings, including more than 160 buildings on the downtown St. George campus.

CAW Local 2003 members have set up picket lines and have received strong support from other union members at the university.

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