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Slideshow: Toronto Public Library workers on strike

Sunday marked one week that Toronto Public Library workers have been on strike. To recognize the occasion, The Writers’ Union of Canada hosted a rally and read-in to support CUPE Local 4948 (the Toronto Public Library Workers’ Union). Chris Dart, a reporter with Torontoist, describes the tone at the gathering as one of “cheerful rage.”

After months of negotiations and a number of pushed deadlines, on March 18, TPLWU president Maureen O’Reilly announced that the union could not come to an agreement with the municipal government. The bone of contention, she said, was job security for TPL’s 2,300 library workers. With a significant proportion of staff made up of part-timers, O’Reilly said any deal that doesn’t protect workers from library closures, layoffs, and privatization would leave 70 per cent of TPL employees vulnerable.

All library branches and dropboxes have been closed since March 19, and all library programming and events have been cancelled until further notice. The library has encouraged patrons to keep materials until strike action has ended (late fines will not be charged for the duration of the strike).

The TWUC rally is just one of many events that took place over the past week in support of library workers. Click through the slideshow below for highlights from the week’s strike action.

  • Bindhurani Saju

    I miss the library. Wish they don’t cut any more.Why the library is not coming in the news as it is supposed to be? The strike needs more attention from the public. I tweet about the strike. What else can be done?

  • Anonymous

    It seems to me that neither side wants to budge with regards to the issue of job security. My suggestion is if you can’t budge on the issue, budge on the term. Instead of anyone under 15 yrs not having job security, why not have it in the 8-10 yr range. It would still encapsulate a large percentage of the TPL staff, and hopefully would appease the union. Anyone with more than 10 yrs are obviously serious TPL staff, and should have a certain level of job security.

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Eva Stachniak's Empress of the Night

Eva Stachniak poses with a copy of her book, Empress of the Night

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Rimma Burashko with author Eva Stachniak

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Eva Stachniak smiles as she signs a copy of Empress of the Night for a fan

Fans wait in line to have their copies of Empress of the Night signed by Eva Stachniak

Fans wait in line to have their copies of Empress of the Night signed by Eva Stachniak

Lesley Strutt, Dean Steadman, Amanda Earl, Alastair Larwill and Frances Boyle

Frances Boyle, Dean Steadman, Lesley Strutt and Alastair Larwill

Amanda Earl

Jewel of the Thames launch

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