March 27, 2023

More than 2,000 GO Transit workers to strike starting Monday: union |

More than 2,000 GO Transit workers plan to go on strike starting Monday after voting to reject Metrolinx’s latest offer, the union representing the workers says.

The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1587 said in a statement Friday that 2,200 workers had originally planned to strike on Oct. 31, but the deadline was pushed back last Wednesday to review and vote on the latest offer.

On the latest offer, the union said 81 percent voted against it and supported strike action.

Read more:

The GO Transit union says it will strike if members reject Metrolinx’s offer

“We’ve had enough – starting Monday we’ll be walking the lines until we reach an agreement that protects the job security of our current and future members,” said Local 1587 President Rob Cormier.

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“However, we remain committed to meeting with Metrolinx to reach an agreement that addresses our concerns and other issues to ensure a safe and reliable transportation system for our riders.”

ATU Local 1587 members include GO Transit bus drivers, station attendants, maintenance workers, traffic safety officers and office workers.

“Our members have made that absolutely clear. We will not accept a deal unless it addresses our primary concern, which is getting a deal done,” Cormier said.

Read more:

The union for some Metrolinx workers will vote to extend the October 31 strike deadline

“These basic protections against outsourcing are the norm for all other transit agencies in our region to ensure that experienced employees are on the job keeping buses safe. Without these protections, Metrolinx can contract with outside companies that don’t know the fleet and hire inexperienced workers at the lowest wages.

The union said the strike comes as CUPE training workers have walked off the job amid an ongoing dispute with Ford’s board.

ATU International president John Costa said they will join “the entire Ontario labor movement in a united fight against a government that would rather destroy vital public services and armed workers than negotiate an agreement that guarantees safe transit service and gives workers the dignity they deserve.”

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Costa said a full strike would only be used as a “last resort” but said they had “no other option”.

Cormier told Global News the union is “optimistic” a deal can be reached over the weekend, but said the remaining issues need “some sort of resolution.”

“But if we can’t, that means GO bus service won’t run Monday morning,” he explained.

In a statement, Metrolinx said it was “disappointed” that members voted against its current offer and are “instead planning to strike.”

“We will work throughout the weekend to reach an agreement and remain open to discussing further action with our ATU employees,” the statement read.

Metrolinx said if the strike continues from 1:01 a.m. Monday, there will be no bus service.

“Trains will continue to operate as scheduled,” the company said.

– With files from Global News’ Hannah Jackson

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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