2,200 station attendants, bus operators, maintenance workers, transit safety officers, and office professionals will strike at 12:01 AM Monday November 7

Media contact: Sarah Maceda-Maciel, 240-475-3226, [email protected]

Toronto— After voting overwhelmingly to reject Metrolinx’s latest contract offer, 2,200 GO Transit workers, will go on strike this coming Monday, November 7 at 12:01 AM. The workers, members of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1587-Toronto, ON, voted by 81% against the offer and in favour of strike action.

Metrolinx workers had originally planned to strike on October 31, but last Wednesday pushed back the deadline in order vote on the most recent offer. The company continues to refuse to ensure that experienced and highly trained workers remain on the job to maintain the safety of our riders and the public, and instead insists on the right to use inexperienced and unproven contractors.

“Our members have made it utterly clear. We will not accept a deal unless it addresses our primary concern, which is contracting out,” said Local President Rob Cormier. “These basic protections against contracting out are the norm at every other transit agency in our region to ensure that experienced, workers are on the job to ensure the safety of the buses. Without these protections, Metrolinx can contract to outside companies unfamiliar with the fleet which will hire inexperienced workers at the lowest of wages.”

“We have had enough - starting Monday, we will walk the picket lines until we reach an agreement that protects job security for our current and future members,” said Cormier. “However, we remain committed to meeting with Metrolinx to reach a deal that addresses our concerns and other issues to ensure a safe and reliable transit system for our riders.”

The ATU strike comes three days after CUPE education workers walked off the job as both unions have been constrained by the Bill 124 wage freeze, which caps compensation increases at one percent.

“Our Union joins the entire Ontario labour movement in a common fight against a government who would rather destroy vital public services and strongarm workers than negotiate a contract ensuring safe transit service and offering workers the dignity they deserve,” said ATU International President John Costa. “Our Union uses a full strike only as a last resort since we don’t want to abandon our riders who depend on us. But Metrolinx has left us with no other option. We will stand together in solidarity until we win.”