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TTC to be on strike Monday: Union

Mayor urges union, TTC to get back to the bargaining table


The president of Local 113, the Amalgamated Transit Union, said today that the union would go on strike Monday morning.

Bob Kinnear, president of Amalgamated Transit Union, said this afternoon the union had not been able to come to an agreement on a contract with the TTC.

He blamed government underfunding and the specific inability to come to agreement on the issue of contracting-out of some jobs.

“I regret that we are far apart on this issue of contracting-out,” he said. “The wage offer falls short, (but) it�s not a matter of wages. We were willing to make compromises on the rate of wage increases, we were willing to be flexible on the length of agreement. The TTC has shown no flexibility.”

Mayor David Miller urged both sides to return to the bargaining table. “Let the negotiators do the negotiating,” he said. “I am not the negotiator,” he added, explaining why he was not at the table.

Miller said he hopes there isn’t a walkout. “We don�t need a strike, a strike isn�t necessary,�� he said.

“We have to resume negotiations,” the major continued, saying he would become involved if a settlement can’t be reached.

“At the right time, I will personally intervene. If we don�t reach an agreement over the weekend, I plan to talk to the premier (about back-to-work legislation). I�ll do everything in my power to make sure that service is not interrupted.”

Miller said the only contracting-out language in the agreement with the union has to do with work such as the replacing of streetcar tracks.

TTC chair Howard Moscoe said he was taken aback by the union’s announcement.

“I�m deeply disappointed,” he said. “We moved heaven and hell to make this offer. I�m prepared to meet around the clock to put this to bed.”

Then Moscoe expressed frustration.

“I don�t understand what the union wants. The TTC has no plans to contract anything out, has never had plans to contract anything out. There is no change in the (contracting-out) language. In fact, we (TTC) contract-out less than any transit system on his continent, that I know of.”

Moscoe said he was very surprised at the union’s decision.

“We have resolved everything, as far as I can understand. This is a $160 million package. There�s no more money.”

Moscoe said the wage offer was 2.7 per cent in the first year, 3 per cent in the second year, 3.5 per cent in the third year and the increase in the fourth year remained to be negotiated.

Kinnear had made it clear previously that noon today would be the deadline and that if no agreement was reached by that time, then the union would go on strike.

“There will be no negotiations during the weekend. Friday noon will be it,” he had said.

But then, at the conclusion of the press conference, he seemed to leave the TTC an opening. Asked by a reporter if there was room for optimism, Kinnear said:

“Anything can happen.”