"No TTC strike" Kinnear declares, urging "due consideration and consultation" on proposed Ontario legislation on making the TTC an essential service.

TORONTO, Feb. 3 /CNW/ - The president of ATU Local 113 announced at a media conference today that the union "will not strike or disrupt Toronto's transit system in any way during this year's contract negotiations, even if we still have that right under the law." The surprise declaration by Bob Kinnear comes after weeks of speculation about what might happen if the government of Ontario accedes to a request by Toronto City Council to enact legislation making the Toronto Transit Commission an "essential service." Such a law would ban transit system strikes and require mandatory binding arbitration if the union and the TTC were unable to reach a negotiated settlement.

"There is pressure on the government to enact essential service legislation by March 31, the expiry of our current collective agreement," explained Kinnear. "The Legislature does not sit until February 22 and there is simply not enough time before March 31 to give due legislative consideration to a precedent-setting law and conduct the kind of public consultation such a bill deserves."

"Our commitment to not strike, even if we still have the right, is meant to remove the pressure on the government to act hastily and to allow both parties to make good faith efforts to negotiate a renewal collective agreement without a cloud of uncertainty looming over the bargaining table."

To read Kinnear's full statement, visit www.wemovetoronto.ca.

SOURCE Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 113

For further information:

Laura Ziemba, 416-712-0412

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Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 113

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