A strike against the GO Transit system "...will most definitely happen," says ATU Local 1587 President Ray Doyle, "if management clings to its position of no wage increase unless it is taken out of existing benefits costs."
It's an absolutely unreasonable position," says Doyle. "There's more money for management but not one cent for the workers."
Today, the union applied to the Ontario Ministry of Labour for a No Board Report, which starts the clock ticking towards a possible strike on Monday, September 19. If this happens, it will be the first strike involving GO Transit ATU employees.
ATU Local 1587 represents 650 GO Bus Operators, as well the system's Coach Technicians, Station Attendants, Office and Professional Staff and Service personnel - 1530 workers in all. Doyle commented on recent membership meetings stating, “Our 95 per cent strike vote was unprecedented and shows how frustrated our members are.”
"We will continue to negotiate but we need to see steps toward fairness. Two tier programs are a failed concept and should never be considered fair for any workers.”
GO has offered a “0%” zero percent wage increase over the next two years.
GO Transit carries approximately 50 million passengers a year to and from Toronto and numerous outlying municipalities, such as Peterborough, Kitchener, Niagara Falls, Barrie and many others.
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1587 also represents employees operating and maintaining York Region Transit buses for Miller Transit and First Student Canada; privately-owned bus companies under contract to YRT. They are similarly poised to strike.