Discussions resume in Ontario transit strike

Talks fail for two parties, discussion resumes for others

One union and one company in the Ontario York Region Transit (YRT) strike are returning to the bargaining table on Dec. 12.

The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1587 and Miller Transit headed back to the bargaining table at 9 a.m.

ATU Local 113 — the second union involved in the strike — resumed negotiations with Veolia Transportation on Dec. 10, but talks failed after just a few hours. No new discussions are scheduled.

The main issues at the centre of the dispute are wages and benefits, including how much employees should pay for their own health-care package.

On Dec. 12, striking workers resumed “occupying” buses not affected by the strike, limiting space for paying customers. The union is hoping the demonstration will help raise awareness of the issues surrounding the strike across York Region.

About 220 employees represented by ATU 113 are affected by the walkout, along with 340 drivers from ATU Local 1587, who operate YRT buses for Miller Transit and First Canada. The YRT strike affects bus routes operated by companies contracted to supply service to Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan. A number of routes are also affected in northern York Region. Wages, benefits and shift length are the main stumbling blocks in negotiations.

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