City’s outside workers can begin job action at 11:01 a.m. Thursday

Vancouver’s outside union workers issued a 72-hours strike notice yesterday — meaning the earliest they could be on strike is Thursday at 11 a.m. Garbage collection won’t initially be affected.


CUPE 1004, which represents 1,800 outside workers including garbage collectors, issued the strike notice after essential service levels were set by the Labour Relations Board.


Mike Jackson, president of CUPE 1004, said a full-scale walkout isn’t planned. Instead, job action will commence at 11:01 a.m. with an overtime ban.


“There will be no extracurricular work done after 3:30 p.m., which is considered a normal work day,” said Jackson.


At issue are contract length, retiree benefits, and hiring provisions.

Also, the city announced yesterday the union had accepted its invitation to return to the negotiating table. The meeting is scheduled for today.

The strike could extend across all municipalities in the Greater Vancouver Regional District. CUPE Local 389 in North Vancouver, which represents 800 workers including lifeguards, child-care and utility workers also issued notice yesterday.

The city maintains civic labour stability is critical throughout the 2010 Olympics, and has offered a 39-month contract and 10 per cent wage increase

The Olympic timetable has no place in negotiations, said the union. However, although they balked at contract length, Jackson maintains they are flexible.

“We asked for two years, but are willing to go longer if need be.”