Strike possible on GO Transit, ATU says – Toronto Sun

Days after GO Transit workers warned of a possible strike this month, no new bargaining dates had been set for the two sides to meet, according to the union.

Sarah Maceda-Maciel, a spokesperson for the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), said Monday the 2,200 members of Local 1587 voted 93% in favour of a strike in August — the highest turnout in the Local’s history — and are in a legal position to take job action.
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“There’s hasn’t been any further discussion with the company at all,” Maceda-Maciel said Monday. “Unless Metrolink decides to actually listen to reason and come to the table with a fair offer, it’s very likely that the Local will decide to strike in the coming weeks.”

Local 1587 represents bus operators, station attendants, plant and fleet maintenance workers, transit safety staff and office professionals.

“These are 2,200 workers that make sure that GO Transit keeps Ontario going,” she said.

In a notice Friday, Local 1587 President Rob Cormier said they had decided not to strike the week of Thanksgiving to avoid disrupting family holiday travel but did want the public to prepare for possible interruptions to commutes in October.

“Metrolinx has been wasting our time for months, and has made zero offers addressing our priority issue, which is binding language that would provide our members with greater job security and protection against contracting out,” Cormier said in the statement. “In August, our Local voted by 93% to approve a strike, which was the greatest mandate and turnout in our Local’s history. We have given Metrolinx more than enough time to bargain a fair deal. We are no longer optimistic that they will come to the table with a fair offer in hand unless they are forced to through a work stoppage.”

ATU members in Mississauga, Brampton and Hamilton have a right to refuse to cross picket lines, and the TTC has asked the agency not to ask its workers to cross GO Transit picket lines, the ATU statement says.

The Local and Metrolinx last met on Oct. 3.

aartuso@postmedia.com

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