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Union Threatening Wildcat Strike Over Safety Issues

In a repeat of the rhetoric from last year that led to an illegal shutdown of transit service, there are some noises from the Amalgamated Transit Workers Local 113 that another wildcat strike may be possible following the fatal accident that occurred early morning yesterday, shutting down a portion of the Yonge Subway. CTV News has more details on this story here.

Transit Union head Bob Kinnear won’t get into specifics, but won’t minimize the threat. From the CTV News report:

“We’ve lost a member. I mean, it doesn’t get any worse than that and we will do what we absolutely have to do to send a message to not only Gary Webster at the TTC, but the mayor if necessary.”

“We are not going to continue to tolerate having our concerns minimized by the TTC,” Kinnear said.

We caution that these are only rumours and rhetoric, and there is no indication at present that workers are planning to walk off the job tomorrow, this week or ever. However, Monday’s crash highlighted serious safety issues that need addressing, and brings into focus yet again the low level of employee morale that has been affecting the TTC for some time, now. However, I think I speak for a number of commuters when I say that I hope that the rhetoric over these serious issues doesn’t escalate into illegal job action. Such a move could do damage to the union’s own cause, and obscure the serious issues under discussion.

We will follow this story closely and keep you posted if things change.