Harrison labour dispute continues after Wednesday meeting

Village taking time to review workers’ offer

The labour dispute between CUPE Local 458 workers and the Village of Harrison continues after Wednesday’s ‘brief bargaining session’ failed to produce a resolution.

In a press release issued by CUPE 458, acting president Darlene Worthylake said the the union presented a new offer to the Village that removed the proposal around a compressed work week – one of the central issues in the ongoing negotiations.

“The union came prepared to resolve this labour dispute because we know that there is a lot at stake for the community and our members…Unfortunately, instead of taking time to consider our offer today the Village informed us that they would need the rest of the week to review it.”

The strike – which started Monday – had an impact on the Harrison Festival of the Arts this week when Village workers set up a picket line at the Memorial Hall – the central venue for the festival’s evening performances. Monday night’s performance had to be relocated, but once a negotiation time was set, the workers agreed to stop all picketing that impacted the annual festival.

Worthylake said workers are disappointed with the lack of progress, and that strike action will continue, at least until Saturday, July 14 at 9 a.m., when the parties are set to meet again.

The release also states that the union is open to bargaining throughout the week, should the Village agree to resume negotiations before Saturday.

“With several days to consider our proposal, we expect that Saturday the Village is going to come back to the bargaining table prepared to resolve this labour dispute,” Worthylake said. “However, if we are not able to reach a tentative agreement at this meeting we will have no choice but to resume picketing of all municipal work sites including Arts Festival venues.”

The Village of Harrison had no comment at this time time, but confirmed that negotiations are ongoing.

RELATED: Deadlocked: Village of Harrison workers strike after negotiations fail

RELATED: ‘The rest of the festival is a big question mark’

RELATED: UPDATE: Picketing at Harrison festival ends

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