KITCHENER, ON, April 3, 2017 /CNW/ - Members of Unifor Local 4304, more than 600 transit workers with Grand River Transit, ratified a new contract today, averting a strike in Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge later this week.
"The bargaining committee worked day and night through the weekend to bring the membership a new contract that addressed their major concerns," said Jenny Ahn, Assistant to National President Jerry Dias.
Unifor Local 4304 President Rick Lonergan said the deal is good for both the public and the workers at Grand River Transit.
"With this deal, Unifor helped to ensure that safer buses are on the streets for both the drivers and the public," Lonergan said.
The new collective agreement with Grand River Transit establishes improved safety procedures, recognized maintenance protocols, a trial process for driver shields on new buses, and other improvements. It also contains improved discipline procedures to ensure greater fairness for workers and wage increases of 1.5, 1.75 and 2 per cent over a three-year contract.
"The drivers have done their part to address the financial challenges facing the region," Ahn said. "Now the real work begins for the employer to resolve the serious cost issues it faces elsewhere."
An initial strike deadline set for 5 a.m. today was moved to 5a.m. Wednesday, April 5 after a tentative deal was reached Sunday afternoon. Talks with the Region began in December 2016. Unifor Local 4304 represents transit operators, service attendants and skilled trades workers at Grand River Transit.
"Safety and fairness were our primary concerns going into these talks, and the union is pleased with the progress made to achieve those goals," said Unifor National Representative Tim Mitchell.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers, including 46,000 transportation workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.
For further information: For more information, please contact Unifor Communications National Representative Stuart Laidlaw at [email protected] or (cell) 647-385-4054.