Monday, March 31, 2008

The Possibility of a TTC strike

Three TTC Unions about to go on strike

There are three unions of TTC employees with expired contracts threatening to strike. The first is the larger one, the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113. It represents 8,900 TTC drivers and operators. The second one is smaller, but also negotiating a new contract with the TTC. Both unions have agreed with the TTC that they will give 48 hours notice in the event of a strike. The first agreed to do so on Friday and the second and smaller one, CUPE Local 2, representing 500 electrical workers who maintain subway signals and communication systems, did so yesterday. Both unions are in a legal position to strike one minute after midnight tonight. What all this means is that commuters should be able to ride the rocket tomorrow morning despite two TTC unions being legally able to strike after midnight.

Local 113 head Bob Kinnear broke off negotiations last week demanding that TTC workers -- including bus drivers assaulted by passengers -- get a top-up of their workers compensation benefits when they are off the job with an injury. TTC employees could deliver strike three next week -- although bus and subway drivers have promised to stay on the job for now.

The third union of TTC workers is also considering the possibility of a strike.
Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 235 perform skilled labour including maintenance on streetcars as well as millwright duties for the entire transit service, stated they will join members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 and Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 2 who will be in a legal strike position at the same time.

TTC chairman Adam Giambrone said having three union contracts expire at the same time has been a challenge.

Kinnear, who heads the largest TTC employee union has said the provincially appointed mediator had resolved enough issues to keep both sides at the table and put an agreement within sight. This could take some time, two, three or maybe more time.

Here is one of CBC's last weeks reports on the TTC strike to get an idea

A local Independent Reporter Asks questions about the strike

CTV reports on the possibilty of the strike

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