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‘It would be total mayhem:’ Toronto commuters relieved after transit strike averted

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Commuters in Toronto are breathing a sigh of relief this morning after a strike that would have halted transit service across the city was averted late Thursday night.


Subways, streetcars, and buses are running as usual this morning after an agreement was reached between the TTC and the Amalgamated Transit Unit (ATU) Local 113, which represents more than 11,000 TTC operators, collectors, maintenance workers, station staff, and other frontline TTC employees.


“A tentative deal still has to be agreed to by the membership. The union is referring to this as a framework as there are still details to be worked out before it is put before the membership,” TTC Chair Jamaal Myers told CP24 on Friday morning.


“For the commuters using the TTC, all you have to worry about it that your streetcar, bus, or subway is working. You can get to where you are going safely. And we are very happy to see our city functioning.”


That sentiment was echoed by many transit riders who spoke to CP24 on Friday morning.


“I’m very happy that there is no strike,” one woman said. “It would be total mayhem.”


Many people said they had planned for the worst but were glad that they didn’t have to shell out more cash for alternative transportation options.


“I take transit a lot,” one commuter said on his way to work on Friday. “So there not being a strike saved me a lot of hassle.”


The last time TTC workers walked off the job was in 2008, labour action that halted all transit service for about two days before the then Liberal government passed back-to-work legislation.


The TTC was later designated as an essential service, a law that was in place for years until is was struck down by an Ontario court last year. That ruling opened the door to strike action for the first time in more than a decade after the union’s latest deal expired back in March.


Union members still need to ratify the three-year agreement that was negotiated on Thursday night.


“This deal reflects the commitment to maintaining high standards of service for transit riders while also valuing the hard work that ATU Local 113 members perform each and every day,” Myers said shortly after the deal was reached.


“Most importantly, this deal will keep Toronto moving. Torontonians and their families can sleep tonight with comfort that the TTC will be there for them.”

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