Toronto — Nearly 7,000 Toronto garbage workers who went on strike last Wednesday were joined by 17,000 municipal workers the next day because local unions and politicians have been unable to reach an agreement on wages, job security and benefits.
The city guarantees lifetime employment to any full time, permanent, unionized city worker with at least 10 years on the job, but workers want that guarantee to begin after 6 years.
The strike raises concerns about the level of trash in the streets and citizens’ health and safety. Mayor Mel Lastman has urged the city’s estimated 2.5 million people to haul their trash to local dumps to keep the streets clean.
Ontario's provincial government has drafted legislation that would force workers to return to their jobs if public health officials determine that dirty streets and decaying trash are creating a health hazard.