Toronto, Ontario – Three hundred Toronto Parking Authority employees have voted in favour of a strike mandate should their union not be able to achieve a collective agreement before December 20. Last-minute holiday shoppers are warned to be prepared for parking chaos should this happen.

The members of the Toronto Civic Employees Union, CUPE Local 416, voted 80 per cent in favour of giving their bargaining committee a strike mandate. They will be in a legal strike or lockout position at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, December 20.

The union said that it is bargaining for job security and for fairness, citing a small group of enforcement and collections workers, formerly classified as management, that have been paid more in wages and benefits. The union said it is also going to bat for student workers.

“Almost half of Toronto Parking Authority workers are students,” said Local 416 president Mark Ferguson. “Many work from high school right through college or university, but have absolutely nothing in terms of benefits or cash in lieu of benefits. It’s time their working conditions were improved.”

The parties are tentatively scheduled to return to mediation on December 18 and 19.

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