Negotiators for Local 1600 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 1600) and the Toronto Zoo will resume bargaining this afternoon (May 18), one week after a breakdown in talks led to a strike at Canada’s largest zoo.
“The only place where this dispute can be settled is at the bargaining table, so I am very pleased both parties have agreed to a resumption in negotiations,” said Christine McKenzie, President of CUPE 1600.
After pushing workers into taking strike action one week ago, management closed the Zoo down just as peak visiting season was ready to commence.
“The dispute can and should be resolved quickly, provided the City of Toronto (the Zoo’s owner) doesn’t have an agenda they aren’t sharing with the public or the union,” said McKenzie.
“Our bargaining team is prepared to sit down and negotiate a fair contract that protects good jobs communities depend on and ensures our Toronto Zoo continues to be a world leader in research, education and conservation,” she added.
In order to provide the parties with the space necessary to conclude negotiations, the union will be making no further comment at this time.
CUPE 1600 represents close to 400 zookeepers, horticulturists, trades people, maintenance, administration and public relations staff, concession and ride operators at the Toronto Zoo, Canada’s largest zoo and a world leading research, education and conservation facility.