Welland City Hall. SUPPLIED

Inside workers for the City of Welland, represented by Local 1115 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 1115) have voted in favour of authorizing the union to take strike action if a “fair deal” cannot be reached in the current round of contract negotiations, according to a CUPE statement released Thursday evening, Feb. 18.

At a virtual meeting held on Wednesday, 92 percent of participants voted in favour of authorizing the local to take strike action, a move that the union says is precautionary, according to the statement, “but also gives the bargaining team a strong indication of how the members feel about the negotiations.”

“It is still pretty early in the process, but some of the proposals that we’ve been seeing at the bargaining table have been concerning, so we decided to give our members an update and see what they say,” said Steve Leavitt, representative for CUPE 1115. “I think the answer from the members is clear, so our bargaining team can move forward knowing that the members are prepared to stand behind us to get a fair deal. Our aim here is ultimately to get a deal, and I’m sure council feels the same way.”

CUPE 1115 represents 78 city hall, community wellness complex, public works, and administrative staff for the city of Welland. Their most recent contract expired on December 31, 2020.