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Toronto transit workers vote ‘overwhelmingly’ in support of strike mandate

The union representing thousands of transit workers in Toronto says its members have voted “overwhelmingly in support” of a strike mandate.

Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113, which represents 12,000 transit workers who operate and maintain the TTC, said a membership vote was conducted on Friday evening. According to a news release issued Monday, the union said 9,253 members took part in the voting process and 98.28 per cent voted to strike.

“The overwhelming support for strike action is a clear message to the TTC, the city, and the province, that our membership is ready to act. We are following the direction of our membership,” Marvin Alfred, president of ATU Local 113, said in a written statement.

Earlier this month, the union said it had taken the “first step” toward labour action when it applied to the Ministry of Labour to request that a conciliator be appointed after contract talks stalled. The latest contract expired on March 31, 2024.

“Our union’s intention was always to work with the employer on negotiations to deliver a new and fair agreement. However, if no progress is being made and the TTC is refusing to see the perspective of transit workers, we must move forward with a full withdrawal of service,” Monday’s news release read.

“Our members are clearly angry and upset about how they have been treated at work. We are proud of our work and know the value of our work. We have the right to protect our future and are ready to fight for job security.”

The possible labour action is the first time in 13 years that unionized TTC workers are legally able to strike after a court ruling last year struck down Ontario’s designation of the TTC as an essential service.

The last time ATU Local 113 went on strike was in 2008.

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