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Striking YRT workers "occupy" buses

Citytv News Toronto reports that “hundreds of striking York Region Transit (YRT) workers began ‘occupying’ buses at the Richmond Hill Centre terminal [this morning, Wednesday, December 7], blocking paying customers from boarding.

“The ‘Occupy Transit’ day, in which some 200 workers are paying fares and cramming buses to and from Finch station, comes as the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) awaits word from transit contractors on when contract talks can resume.

“The workers have said they will continue to pack buses between Richmond Hill Centre and Finch until the ticket runs out. The union is hoping the escalation in the job action will help get its message out across York Region…”

“On Friday, York Region Council announced it would not intervene in the strike. Then, on Tuesday it announced via Facebook that the companies contracted to run the buses were ready to sit down at the bargaining table again.

“The ATU says it has yet to hear from the companies.

“The two sides haven’t talked since the end of October.”

Members of the Amalgamated Transit Union’s Local 1587 and Local 113 have been on strike against three private companies that supply transit services to much of York Region — First Canada, Miller Transport and York BRT Servicessince Monday, October 24. The employees of a fourth private company that supplies YRT service are not on strike, which is why some YRT buses continue to operate.