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12,000 TTC workers could go on strike if contract talks fall apart, union says | CBC News

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The union representing some 12,000 TTC workers has voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike if contract negotiations with the transit agency fall apart.

Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113 says its member who voted in a tally taken Friday night were 98 per cent in support of strike action.

Bargaining between the union and the TTC is still ongoing after the previous collective agreement expired on March 29.

“Our members are clearly angry and upset about how they have been treated at work,” ATU Local 113 said in a statement.

Earlier this month, the union said the TTC is “refusing to align” on key issues like job security, wages and benefits. The union represents operators, fare collectors, maintenance and stations staff and other frontline employees.

“The people who ride TTC are working people too. Like us, health-care, logistics, and delivery workers all went to work every day during the pandemic while everyone else was told to stay home. They will understand how hard that is to accept when management routinely hand themselves double-digit raises,” the statement continued.

This is the first time in more than a decade that TTC workers are in a legal strike position. Last year, an Ontario Superior Court judge ruled that a 2011 law that forbade them from walking off the job was unconstitutional.

Justice William Chalmers said the law, passed by the previous Liberal government, violated protected Charter rights.

TTC CEO Rick Leary issued a statement Monday stating no strike deadline has been set and negotiations continue.

“The TTC values the important and challenging work that all our employees do every day to deliver safe and reliable service — the employees in ATU Local 113 are an integral part of our operations,” Leary said.

“We know from past experience that job action by ATU Local 113 would almost certainly lead to service disruptions for our customers which is why both sides are focused on reaching a new collective agreement as soon as possible.”

Leary noted the transit agency recently reached collective agreements with unions representing special constables and fare inspectors, skilled shop employees like millwrights and machines, and electrical tradespeople. 

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