Ontario transit union rejects final offer

York Region turfs one contractor, warns others
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 01/19/2012

A second bargaining unit has rejected the employer’s final offer in the York Region transit strike.

The 220 members of Local 113 of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) voted 75 per cent against the final contract offer of Veolia Transportation, one of the three contractors who operate public transit for York Region in the Greater Toronto Area.

On Jan. 6, the 250 employees of Miller Transit represented by ATU Local 1587 rejected a final offer from their employer.

UPDATE: Miller Transit, union return to negotiations Jan. 20

On Jan. 16, the Region terminated the contract with the third service provided, First Canada. York Region is reportedly in talks with an unidentified company to replace First Canada and a new contract will be placed before the regional council for approval on Jan. 26. Service could be resumed by Feb. 5 at the earliest.

“It is outrageous that nearly a month has passed since First Canada and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1587 last met to negotiate their agreement,” said York Region chair and CEO Bill Fisch in the announcement of the termination of the First Canada contract. First Canada was not able to force a ministry-supervised vote on a final offer.

Veolia and Miller will be required to present the council with a “detailed service recovery plan” by Jan. 20. In the interim, York Region is adding capacity to its other services to accommodate as many riders as possible.

President Bob Kinnear of ATU Local 113 accused Fisch of “bullying tactics” and termed “suspect” the timing of the contract termination announcement, made the day before the final offer vote.

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