City locks out outside workers

Fredericton

The City of Fredericton says it has locked out members of CUPE Local 508 after the union presented the city with strike notice Thursday afternoon.

A release from the City states the workers will now be locked out until a new collective agreement can be reached.

CUPE Local 508 represents the City's outside workers, including those involved in roadway operations, water and sewer repair, parks and trees and fleet maintenance.

A union release says mediation between the two sides failed to address the outstanding issue regarding wages, adding the strike notice is the first in the history of the bargaining for the outside workers.

The city says the following services will be maintained during the labour disruption:
- Main roads will be plowed during a winter storm event, though it will take longer to clean all streets;
- Sidewalks along main streets and high traffic areas will be plowed;
- Snow will be removed from downtown when snow storage becomes an issue;
- Emergency traffic signal repairs will be completed;
- Emergency sewer cleaning will be conducted;
- Water and sewer services will only be located in emergencies, and water/sewer meters will be changed in emergency situations only;
- Certain trails will be plowed;
- Emergency tree removal will be conducted;
- Emergency repairs to City vehicles will be conducted;

Further, the city adds garbage collection, fire protection and policing, arenas, rec programs and parking services are not affected by the lockout.

Outside workers have been without a contract since December 2018 and negotiations began last October.

City Council made the decision to lock out workers at a meeting on Monday February 10.