Oct 1, 2008

Transit strikes and settlements

The union representing workers of Mississauga Transit has reached a tentative agreement with the City.

Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) 1572, representing bus drivers, garage maintenance staff and service employees, hammered out an agreement with the City Saturday at 5:30 a.m., and with it has averted the threat of a possible strike.

The current collective agreement expires today. Union president Vito Thomas did not divulge details of the new agreement. He said the settlement will be presented to members Oct. 1 for ratification.

The union and management have come to an agreement. In order to have the issue finalized, the members will vote as to whether it is acceptable. If the union members turn the offer down they will be following the same path that was taken at the TTC and Veolia Transportation (Viva).

This trend is not only limited to the GTA. It is occurring across the country. The union and management negotiating teams come to an agreement on paper, then the members vote it down. There appears to be a break down between the union executive and the union members.

The Viva transit strike in York Region continues. Under the guidance of a provincial mediator talks are scheduled to begin again today. Yesterday York region applied for a court injunction to limit picket delays at regional terminals. The action was dropped after an agreement with the union on the amount of delays cause by pickets.

I would like all those people that are calling for transit to be an essential service to please take note that Ontario Government is nowhere in sight with the Viva Veolia strike. If this had happen in Toronto, the transit workers would have already been forced back to the job, but they still would not be classed as essential service.

The labour contract at Durham Region Transit expires in 2009. This will affect transit in the entire region except in the town of Whitby. Presently DRT contracts the Whitby routes out to Trentway Wagar Coach Canada. They are unionized but have a seperate contract from the rest of DRT.

The Mississauga News - Mississauga.com.


nixtuff said...

I've given some thought to the issue of strikes, and have 4 simple ideas really to solve problems.

>Negotiations must take place first. There is no limit to how long or short of a period this can be.
>Should they fail, a mediator must be brought in and talks must continue, again without a time limit.
>Whatever deal is reached must be put before union members for a vote. They may vote whatever way they feel.
>Should a vote affirm a strike, then 25 hours must pass between the certification of that vote and the start of the strike.

None of this prevents strikes, but makes sure that the public are informed.

Andy said...

All of the things you suggested except for the last one are already in effect.

You forgot to mention what happens when employees are locked out.

During Durham Region Transit's first and only strike (so far) the union requested the matter be referred to arbitration. The Region wanted nothing to do with it. So what do you do when management delays a return to work?

In the case of the strike in York Region at Viva how do force a private company like Veolia Transportation to go to arbitration?

I think you would be doing all transit workers a favor it they were declared an essential service. I don't don't think anyone should have to go on strike like the Viva employees to get more the 4 hours of sick time per year.

nixtuff said...

The only problem is the last time someone suggested that transit might be essential, the implication was made that transit (and the entire rest of the government) would go on strike and (assuming the bill was not withdrawn, and since IMHO being essential is a dictionary definition it either is or is not, and it is) that the strike would never ever end.