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Urban Living

GO Transit Workers End Strike After Reaching Tentative Deal with Metrolinx

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Less than a week after 2,200 GO Transit workers walked off the job, citing safety and contract concerns, a tentative deal has been reached with Metrolinx. On Saturday, GO Bus service will resume and all transit safety officers, station attendants, fare inspectors, and coach technicians will return to their posts.

The four-day strike kicked off on Monday, after 81% of GO Transit workers voted to reject a contract offer presented by Metrolinx on Sunday. One of the grievances with the offer was that it failed to include language that would protect GO Transit jobs from being contracted out to outside companies, leaving non-union positions to be filled by inexperienced workers and compromising worker safety.

The latest contract, presented to ATU Local 1587 on Thursday, includes the aforementioned language and ensures that experienced and highly-trained workers will remain in GO Transit jobs. In addition, ATU Local and Metrolinx have come to an agreement that the wage cap under Bill 124 — it states that salary increases are limited to 1% for each 12-month period for all public employees — will be re-opened if the Bill is reversed.

“The privatization of our most vital services like public transit is wrong,” said ATU International President John Costa in a press release Thursday. “These private companies win contracts with false promises of saving money and improving service, but end up slashing workers’ wages and cutting service, leaving riders behind.”

Confirmation that the GO Transit strike is ending comes just three days after the Ford government reached an understanding with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). CUPE members — 55,000 caretakers, education assistants, and other school support workers — walked off the job last Friday in opposition to Bill 28, which suspended their right to strike. On Monday, Ford repealed the Bill in its entirety, and education workers have since returned to their jobs. On Tuesday, Ford presented an “improved offer” to CUPE, which has since been rejected by the union.

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