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GO talks to resume tomorrow

Both sides agree to conciliator, strike date set for Monday

Jan 03, 2008 04:30 AM
Robyn Doolittle
Staff Reporter

Contract negotiations between GO Transit and its 1,200 unionized employees will resume tomorrow morning, now that both sides have agreed to a third-party conciliator.

Talks broke off two weeks ago after workers turned down a contract offer by 69 per cent.

A tentative strike date has been set for Monday.

“There’s nothing more to say than that. The meeting is really the key to getting any more information,” said GO spokesperson Stephanie Sorensen.

“As long as we’re talking, we’re remaining hopeful,” she said.

If the strike goes forward, about 30,000 people who depend on GO buses for their daily commute will be forced to find alternate methods of transportation.

During talks, GO management had requested at least 48 hours’ notice before strike action so travellers have ample warning to make other plans.

If there is a strike, trains are expected to run on schedule but the company warned that picket lines could cause delays and riders should allow extra time.

About 165,000 riders rely on GO Train service.

The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1587, which is representing the unionized bus drivers, ticket agents and office workers, would not comment on the meeting.

Union president Denis Tanham has said that GO drivers, who make about $25.46 an hour, earn about $1 less than their TTC counterparts.

GO employees have been without a contract since June 1.

Whether GO Transit workers, who provide what many consider an essential service for the area, should be allowed to walk off the job was the subject of a survey on thestar.com.

More than half of respondents said GO Transit workers should not be allowed to strike.




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