Rally at Hamilton City Hall on November 24, 2016 commemorates 1906 HSR Transit Strike and affirms local control of public transit

HAMILTON, ON, Nov. 14, 2016 /CNW/ - On Thursday, November 24, 2016, a rally at Hamilton City Hall will be held, starting at 6:30 p.m., to commemorate a significant event in Hamilton's history - the 1906 HSR Transit Strike - and to bring residents together against the Liberal government's privatization of hydro and transit.

ATU Local 107 President, Eric Tuck, says history is repeating itself and he is calling on the citizens to join in the fight to preserve Public Power and Public Transit.

"People in Hamilton are angry at the stealth sale of our Hydro system by the Liberal government," says Tuck, a 28-year veteran of the HSR (Hamilton Street Railway).

"Anyone who learns that a vote by Hamilton City Council could ultimately give up local control to bureaucrats at Metrolinx who have contracted out other transit lines becomes upset. LRT or BRT – it must be kept under local control through HSR and answerable to local transit riders through local elections," says Tuck.   

Back in the early 1900s, a private company, Cataract Power Company, owned HSR and supplied electricity from Brantford to St. Catharines including Hamilton, at prices well beyond the reach of most residents. A strike in 1906 began when the HSR refused to honour the terms of an arbitration report and to recognize the union shortly after installing its new electric trolley line. 

Realizing the important roles that electricity and transit would play in securing the future, 10,000 residents sided with the strikers on November 24, 1906. Their actions drove the political will to create a publicly owned and operated power and transit systems through Ontario Hydro.

They recognized the relevance of affordable, reliable energy and transit to the economical and sustainable viability of a prosperous future for generations to come.  

Hydro rates have been relatively stable for more than a century, as have transit fares.  But now, Premier Wynne's government wants to take Hamiltonians back 110 years and make electricity and transit unaffordable and unsustainable, which is a danger to our economic future. 

It's time to fight back and send a message to all politicians that our vital infrastructure built and paid for by generations of Ontarians is not for sale. 

All residents are invited to join the rally for live entertainment, guest speakers and enter a draw for a chance to win either a $1000 Presto Pass or one in 12 $100 Presto passes.

Let's unite against the privatization of Ontario Hydro and the contracting out of key transit lines through Metrolinx!

Remember: Public Power! Public Transit!

SOURCE Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 107

For further information: Eric Tuck, President ATU Local 107, President@atu107.com, 1005 King Street, Hamilton, ON, Telephone: (905) 902-4107

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Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 107

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