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Strike looms as YRT workers reject Veolia's contract offer

Members of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113 today voted to reject a contract offer from their employer, Veolia Transport Canada. Local members, who include both drivers and mechanics in York Region Transit’s Southwest Division, are now in a legal position to go on strike.

The drivers and mechanics have been without a contract since last summer, when they joined the union. Although the union and Veolia reached a tentative agreement last Sunday, February 13, when the union asked its membership to ratify the agreement today, the members voted against accepting the offer.

Passengers should expect regular YRT service tomorrow, Thursday, February 17. Local 113 says its members would not strike against Veolia immediately, but would continue to meet with Veolia representatives continuously over the next few days. However, the union warns, that if it does not reach an agreement by the end of this weekend, it would strike, starting at 12:01 a.m. Monday, February 21.

Veolia is one of four contractors supplying transit services to YRT and York Region. If the strike takes place, it would affect service to passengers along 29 YRT routes — mostly in Vaughan but also in parts of Aurora, King, Markham, Newmarket and Richmond Hill. If the drivers and mechanics strike against Veolia, the other contractors would continue to operate buses along all other routes in York Region.

Read Transit Toronto’s February 12 post for more information on how a strike may affect transit passengers.