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York Region injunction restricts some picketing activities
during YRT strike

Today, Thursday, December 22, the Regional Municipality of York successfully obtained an injunction from the Superior Court of Justice “to prevent ongoing unsafe and unlawful picketing” by Amalgamated Transit’s Local 1587 and Local 113 during their strike. The Region says the injunction will ease delays for passengers on York Region Transit and Viva buses and at Region facilities, while also preserving the union’s legal right to picket peacefully and and lawfully.

The injunction restricts picketers in their activities. During the strike, they:

  • must not delay pedestrians at YRT / Viva terminals and garages;
  • must not picket at all sites peacefully and lawfully at all times;
  • must picket only within agreed-upon protocols;
  • must not delay or interfere with passengers getting on or off buses;
  • must not wear masks or face coverings while engaged in strike-related activities;
  • must not delay Mobility Plus and community buses, or occupy them “en masse”;
  • must not stop or interfere with any buses on any roads between the garage and start of routes and along YRT, TTC, Brampton Transit or GO Transit routes;
  • must not delay buses exiting garages by longer than three minutes, or any more than five buses in a queue, and must not delay buses entering garages; and
  • Picketers must not delay buses exiting terminals by longer than three minutes, or any more than ten buses in a queue, and must not delay buses entering terminals.

In a media release, York Region says it respects the right to strike and will continue to work with ATU Locals 113 and 1587 “to accommodate lawful picketing during the strike period. If the terms of today’s ruling are not upheld, or if other issues relating to safety or service delays arise, the matter of an injunction can be returned to court.”

On December 2, York Regional Council stated emphatically it will not intervene in the current dispute between the contractors and unions and will not request back-to-work provincial legislation or binding arbitration.

The employees are on strike against three private companies that supply transit services to much of York Region — First Canada, Miller Transport and York BRT Services.

Sixty per cent of YRT and Viva services have been unavailable since Monday, October 24, due to a strike by ATU Locals 1587 and 113 against three of the four private suppliers that York Region has contracted to operate transit service.

Forty per cent of service remains available to passengers during the dispute: all YRT buses operating out of the southwest division and all TTC buses serving routes in Markham and Vaughan.