GO Transit Sept. 19 strike deadline delayed

Union accuses government of interference
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 10/05/2011

GO Transit’s strike deadline of Sept. 19, 2011 has been delayed until the Ontario Labour Board rules whether the two parties have a legal strike agreement. Metrolinx, the company that manages GO Transit, is requesting the Board look at the validity of an agreement the two parties signed in March 2011.

UPDATE: GO Transit sets Oct. 24 strike deadline

The union representing GO Transit’s 1,500 workers says the "Essential Services Agreement" outlines that no job within the Union is deemed “essential” and that “all bargaining unit employees have the right to strike.”

Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1587 president Ray Doyle says he believes there is political interference from the government in advance of the upcoming provincial election.

"The government does not want a GO Transit strike during the election,” says Doyle. “Who else would have the authority to order Metrolinx and the Minister of Labour to ignore the Labour Relations Act?”

The two parties returned to the bargaining table on Sept. 15, 2011, but neither party will comment on the progress of negotiations. Metrolinx has said they are confident an agreement can be reached.

Last month, the union applied for a “no-board” report from the Ministry of Labour which set a strike date for Sept. 19.

GO has offered a two-year wage freeze in a two-year agreement, according to Doyle.

Should a strike occur, bus service would be completely disabled while train service would be negatively affected.

ATU Local 1587 represents the company’s bus drivers, station attendants and office personnel. GO Transit provides commuter service in the Greater Toronto region.

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