Toronto Public Library workers on strike

By Daniel Dale of the Toronto Star:

The library workers’ decision to walk off the job surprised even the left-leaning councillor who leads the library board’s labour relations committee.

“I really thought they would stay at the table,” said Councillor Sarah Doucette, an opponent of Mayor Rob Ford. She called the strike, which forced all 98 branches to shut down, “the last thing” she had expected during weekend negotiations.

The talks collapsed Sunday over the issue of job security. Fortified by a library-loving public, union president Maureen O’Reilly is gambling that a strike will pressure the city into protecting a greater number of workers from potential future job cuts.

Under the collective agreement that expired on Dec. 31, no permanent library worker could be laid off in the event of outsourcing or technological changes. Read more.