Talks in Brantford paratransit strike resume Thursday; union to lift pickets as "good faith" gesture

    BRANTFORD, ON, Oct. 1 /CNW/ - Negotiations aimed at ending the Brantford
paratransit strike that began early Monday will take place Thursday afternoon,
says Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 685.
    "We will return to the table with every intention of trying to resolve
this but the employer is going to have to seriously address our issues," said
Larry Kinnear, ATU International Vice President. "We have been bargaining for
over six months and our proposals have been reasonable."
    Kinnear said the union will stop picketing at the downtown bus terminal
on Thursday and Friday as a signal that it is serious about reaching a
    "This is a good faith gesture on the part of our members, who are part of
the community they serve. If we cannot reach a settlement, however, picketing
will resume."
    The union has called on the City to take over the paratransit service,
pointing to Hamilton as an example of the failure of private operators to
provide reliable service for the disabled and seniors.
    "Hamilton City Council recently voted to not renew the contract of the
private paratransit operator there because of chronic problems very similar to
those in Brantford," said Kinnear.
    "Brantford taxpayers fund this vital service so the City should run it as
part of Brantford Transit. Many riders who use this service showed up at the
City Council meeting on Monday night and every one of them supported the
union's position on this.
    "They feel that things would be much better if their service was part of
the regular transit system, and they're right. This is the most common model
of paratransit service in Canada and it is time Brantford joined the
mainstream, just as Hamilton is doing."

For further information:

For further information: Larry Kinnear, (202) 309-4120

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