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Toronto Public Library Workers Union given legal strike deadline

After nearly two weeks of silence surrounding negotiations between the Toronto Public Library and the Toronto Public Library Workers Union (TPLWU), it was announced today that the Ontario Ministry of Labour has granted the TPLWU a legal strike deadline of 12:01 a.m. Monday, Nov. 9.

As reported by Q&Q Omni last March, the city’s 2,400 library workers split from the Toronto Civic Employees Union (TCEU) Local 416 to create their own union. However, the new TPLWU soon found itself facing the same concession demands confronted by the TCEU in a summer that saw an extended strike by city workers. 

Eighty-six per cent of TPLWU voted in favour of a strike as of Oct. 10, but negotiations are ongoing.

The union is asking the TPL for more full-time jobs and “fairer treatment of part-time workers.”

According to a TPL inter-office memo, should a legal strike/lock-out occur, the following disruptions are to be expected:

  • All library branches and facilities, including Bookmobile and Home Library Services, would be closed
  • All computer services, including Web-based and dial-in service, would be suspended, including renewals
  • All telephone-based service would be suspended, including renewals
  • All scheduled meetings and events would be cancelled. Room rental charges would be refunded, as appropriate
  • All book drops would be closed. Borrowers would be asked to keep library materials and not return them until a strike/lock-out is over