DOWNSVIEW, ON, Feb. 22 /CNW/ - The union that represents nearly 10,000
operations and maintenance employees of the Toronto Transit Commission
said the bill introduced in the Ontario Legislature today designating
the TTC an 'essential service' should be given normal legislative
treatment and not rushed through to meet an artificial deadline being
demanded by Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
"We have committed to entering into an agreement with the TTC that we
will arbitrate our next settlement, if necessary," says Bob Kinnear,
President of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113. "We would do so under
Section 40 of the Labour Relations Act, which would foreclose any
possibility of a work stoppage this year."
On February 10, the union offered the TTC a written agreement under
Section 40 to send all outstanding contract issues to binding
arbitration as of March 31, the date the current agreement expires.
City officials responded with a demand that the union sign away all its
members' collective bargaining rights forever, including the right to
seek judicial remedy of any law that might violate the Charter of
Rights and Freedoms.
"The City's refusal of our arbitration offer and their outrageous demand
that we sign away our members' rights in perpetuity is compelling
evidence that the Mayor's agenda is not really continuity of transit
service but an attack on unions.
"We are saying give labour peace a chance but Ford prefers
confrontation, and from a safe distance. He doesn't have the guts to
meet me face to face and explain why he won't accept our very
reasonable offer of arbitration.
"Since there will be no strike this year, there is no need for the
provincial government to treat this situation as an emergency and ram
through the bill. It takes away a fundamental right of workers and
violates an international treaty to which Canada is signatory. Such a
bill deserves at least the normal amount of legislative time to
consider and conduct public consultations and we will continue to press
The union will not be commenting in detail on the specifics of the bill
until it has had an opportunity to thoroughly review it.
SOURCE Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 113
For further information:
Laura Ziemba, 416-712-0412