According to Transport 2000, the federal labour relations board ruled against transit being declared an essential service. After a lengthy strike in Ottawa, the ruling was made because the Canada Industrial Relations Board received submissions from concerned citizens requesting that OC Transpo be made an essential service. The city and the union also made submissions to the Board.
The Board determined the strike posed no immediate and serious danger to the safety or health of the public and therefore OC Transpo service fails to meet the criteria to be deemed essential.
David Jeanes, president of Transport 2000, said transit in the city "is absolutely essential. It's essential for the necessities of life, it's essential for employment, it's essential for productivity," said Jeanes. "People have lost their jobs, people's health is jeopardized, students are having their academic studies jeopardized, we've got cases of elderly people having to walk great distances just to live their lives," the Sun reported.
Meanwhile back in Durham Region, the Canadian Auto Workers Union and Durham Region Transit, entered into negotiations on January 27, 2009. The contract expires on February 28, 2009. It is to early to make any predictions. Lets hope that things turn out better than 2006 when there was a lengthy transit strike in the region.