The union representing 2,200 GO Transit bus operators, station attendants, plant and fleet maintenance workers, transit safety officers, and office professionals says their members have voted 93 per cent in favour of going on strike if necessary.
In a release issued early Monday, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1587 accused provincial Crown agency Metrolinx of refusing to negotiate on critical issues, including job security, wages and improved work-life balance.
President Rob Cormier said the turnout for the strike vote is the largest in the Local’s history.
He accused Metrolinx of stonewalling negotiations since they began in April.
The ATU said its members have been working under an expired contract since June 1. No strike deadline has been issued.
Anne Marie Aikins, Metrolinx’s chief spokesperson, said negotiations with the union continue “and we continue to be hopeful for a full resolution.”
Aikins said a strike is “not imminent” and that Metrolinx will keep customers updated “when and if there is an update to share.”
The transit agency is also warning customers that it will need to cancel some GO and UP Express trains this week due to staffing shortages. Aikins recommended that customers plan ahead and check train schedules.
“We’re experiencing some staff illnesses currently and just wanted to warn our customers that there may be some minor adjustments and isolated and temporary train cancellations,” she said in a written statement.
“We apologize to any of our customers who may be impacted if we need to make any temporary adjustments to their service.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 8, 2022.
This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.