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Durham Region Transit on Strike

Transit workers are officially off the job in Pickering, Ajax and Oshawa as contract negotiations broke down. Workers were in a legal strike position at 6 p.m. this evening, but workers finished their runs enroute, leaving no passengers stranded inside a bus at the time of the strike deadline.

The major issue between union and management is one of benefits. Former Oshawa Transit workers have full dental and medical benefits upon retirement, while Pickering and Ajax employees do not. Now that the various transit agencies have been merged into Durham Region Transit since this past January, the union wants all employees to have the same benefits. Durham councillors say that such a deal would cost the region $11 million. The union claims that Durham is trying to remove the benefit from all transit employees.

Former Whitby Transit workers are not affected by this strike as they remain on a separate contract. Whitby buses will continue to run tomorrow, as will all GO Transit services. A total of 30,000 riders may be affected if talks don’t resume tonight.

The Toronto Star has further details on this developing story.