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TTC strike called unlikely

Union, board still negotiating

Friday morning legal strike date


TTC chairman Howard Moscoe says he’s confident the transit service and its unionized workers will reach an agreement, but probably not in time for Friday’s legal strike/lockout date.

“There won’t be a strike, there’ll be a settlement,” Moscoe said. “But not necessarily by the deadline, because we’re working our way through 160 some-odd clauses. Each one takes hours.”

The Toronto Transit Commission’s contract with its 8,000 employees expires at midnight Thursday, meaning at 12:01 Friday morning the members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 will be in a legal strike position. The union said it won’t strike as long as negotiations are productive.

GO Transit said yesterday in a news release that it would try to accommodate more passengers if there is a strike.

Earlier this month, the TTC workers voted 99 per cent against a five-year offer that included a 2 per cent wage hike in each of the next three years, and included benefit improvements for eye care, dental work and life insurance coverage.

The union wants the TTC to beef up its pension contributions and to be more lenient on schedules.

A TTC bus driver earns from $18 to $24 an hour. The union also represents administrative clerks, who at the low end start at about $16 an hour, and maintenance crew like mechanics, machinists and technicians, who at the high end earn about $28 to $30 an hour.

Union president Bob Kinnear could not be reached for comment while the two sides carried on with negotiations last night.