Dec 16, 2009

London Transit deal ratified

The London Transit strike officially ended Monday (Dec. 14), after a tentative deal between the London Transit Commission (LTC) and the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 741 was ratified, but LTC officials say it will be another three weeks before full bus service is restored.

The deal that sees an end to what was close to a month-long shut down of public transportation in the city of London, Ontario, sees a total compensation increase of 13.2 per cent – wage and benefits – for unionized workers with the LTC. The agreement covers a 45 month period, LTC officials said.

ATU Local 741 officials said the deal was given a 72 per cent affirmative nod from its members.

"While many issues remain to be addressed, from violence in the workplace and understaffing, to the city's chronic under funding of public transportation in London, sufficient progress has been made to get the buses back on the road," said an officials ATU Local 741 statement.

Work will begin preparing the equipment for service Tuesday morning (Dec. 15) with some form of limited service possibly resuming as soon as the weekend.

Transit officials have asked for the public's "patience and understanding" as full service is restored on a progressive basis.

While efforts are being made to restore transit service, there will be a four- to five-day delay before any buses are back on the road, with full service not anticipated for approximately three weeks, LTC officials said.

"The delay provides the necessary time to complete required servicing and inspection of a sufficient number of buses to start-up and maintain a limited (modified) service. It is expected that the return to full service will take approximately three weeks," LTC officials said.

Updates regarding the details surrounding the return of bus service will be made available through public service announcements and on the LTC website (see link below).

For those with monthly, weekday and semester bus passes, a refund cheque will be issued for the period of no service or a credit will be applied towards the purchase of a January, 2010 bus pass, but individuals must present their November pass. Credit applying to the tuition-based bus pass program will be provided as is detailed in the contracts with respective student councils.

Transit deal ratified; return to full service in 3 weeks -

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