TORONTO, Jan. 6, 2012 /CNW/ - Now in its 11th week, the bus strike in
York Region will continue indefinitely as workers at Miller Transit in
York Region voted today by 83 per cent to reject the company's final
offer as put to them in a Labour Board-supervised vote. The vote took
place at the Sheraton Parkway hotel in Markham.
The company had applied for the one-time vote available to it under the
Labour Relations Act in an attempt to get around the union, which had
declared the offer "an insult, completely unacceptable."
The vote was 196 to 38 to reject the offer, with 92 per cent of the
There was jubilation amongst the nearly 100 workers who had waited in
the hotel to hear the outcome of the vote.
"There can now be not the slightest doubt that the membership is in full
support of the union and its bargaining committee," said Ray Doyle,
President of ATU Local 1587.
"We have been saying since the strike began that the only way this will
be settled is through arbitration. There is only one man standing in
the way of this dispute being settled and that is Regional Chairman
In early November, the union said that it would end the strike
immediately if the private bus contractors agreed to submit the dispute
to a neutral arbitration process. After the contractors spurned that
offer, Fisch publicly backed them and declared that the Region would
not get involved and that arbitration would be "too costly."
"Bill Fisch has to finally swallow his pride and admit that this strike
will not be settled without arbitration. Transit users have been
inconvenienced for 10 weeks because he thought the workers would cave
in and accept an inferior offer. They have proven they will not do so.
Let's get this over with and arbitrate."
Veolia has also applied for a Board-supervised vote of its 220 striking
Viva workers, who are represented by ATU Local 113. Veolia has asked
that the vote be held on January 17, eleven days from now.
"I predict our members will also totally reject Veolia's unacceptable
offer," said Kinnear. "But we hope it doesn't get that far and we are
in arbitration and back to work by the 17th.
"If Bill Fisch continues to claim that a negotiated settlement is
possible, someone needs to do an intervention with him. It's not going
to happen. Arbitration is the only way out of this mess he created."
SOURCE Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 1587
For further information:
Ray Doyle, 416-986-4103