TTC moves closer to strike action

Union for Toronto Transit Commission asks ministry for conciliator in bargaining talks

TTC moves closer to strike action

Workers at the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) have moved a step closer to strike action as they have not been able to reach a new contract agreement with the employer.

The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113 has applied to the Ontario Ministry of Labour to request that a conciliator be appointed to step in into their negotiation with the employer, the union said in a statement on Monday.

“We are continuing to bargain with the employer,” said Marvin Alfred, President of ATU Local 113. “We are hoping that the conciliator will act as a resource to support our union with obtaining a fair collective agreement.”

"While this is only the first step towards strike action, ATU Local 113 is prepared to move to direct action up to and including a full withdrawal of services," the union said. 

Conciliation is the process that the parties must complete to be in a legal strike or lockout position, as outlined in the Labour Relations Act, 1995, the Ontario government said on its website.

ATU Local 113 said that it has been working through negotiations for weeks but the TTC is “refusing to align” on the key priorities of transit workers, “including job security, wages, and benefits.”

The collective agreement between the TTC and ATU 113 expired on March 31.

The union said its members met with TTC CEO Rick Leary to deliver petitions on behalf of members as part of the union’s United to Win! campaign for “a fair and reasonable contract”. Over 80% of active members have signed the petitions at their work locations over the last month, said the union.

Last week, the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF) began a “work to rule” job action as negotiations for a new provincial collective bargaining agreement stalled. They have since agreed to go back to the bargaining table.

‘Staying at the bargaining table’

In response, Leary said that they are “pleased” to see that the union is “committed to staying at the bargaining table” to reach an agreement and avoid job action.

“We value the work all our 17,000 employees do to deliver safe and reliable service to millions of riders every week – the employees who are members of ATU 113, the TTC’s largest union partner, are a critical part of our operations and this relationship is important to us,” he said in a TTC statement.

“We will continue to negotiate in good faith and we look forward to ongoing talks at the bargaining table.”

Previously, about 9,000 members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) (PSAC) and the Customs and Immigration Union (CIU) who work at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) started conducting a strike vote across the country.

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