ttc strike

Transit workers support TTC strike that could shut down Toronto

Though the TTC was optimistic that it could come to a deal with the 12,000 employees who've recently threatened strike action, the situation is not looking to great for the transit authority.

A whopping 98.28 per cent of workers in Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113 voted in favour of strike on Friday, demonstrating an overwhelming support for walking off the job — which could, of course, have huge impacts on getting around the city.

"Our union's collective bargaining committee continues to be at the bargaining table with the TTC and has been working to get our members the fair and reasonable contract they deserve," the union of people who operate and maintain our transit network wrote in a press release Monday.

"For the first time since 2011, we have the opportunity to exercise our right to strike," the release continued.

"Our union's intention was always to work with the employer on negotiations to deliver a new and fair agreement. However, if no progress is being made and the TTC is refusing to see the perspective of transit workers, we must move forward with a full withdrawal of service."

The collective agreement between the commission and the ATU arm, which hasn't gone on strike in more than 15 years, just expired on March 31.

Staffers are asking for higher wages, improved job security and better benefits, noting that higher-ups like CEO Rick Leary have been "routinely handing themselves double-digit raises," all while the TTC is "in decline."

They first announced that they'd taken preliminary steps towards strike action just two weeks ago, which followed last year's game-changing court decision to no longer declare the TTC an essential service.

In response to the ATU vote, the TTC has assured the public that the move "does not mean a strike is imminent" and that no strike deadline has been set.

"It's important to note that seeking support for a strike is a common part of the bargaining process," Leary said in a press release Monday. "The bargaining teams from ATU and the TTC remain at the table where they continue to negotiate a new collective agreement."

Leary added that the agency is "heartened" by its recent successes in securing fair deals with workers in CUPE Local 5089 (special constables and fare inspectors) and IAMAW Lodge 235 (millwrights, machinists, and other skilled shop employees)."

Lead photo by

Jed Dela Cruz/Unsplash

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