Transit unions appeal law prohibiting TTC strikes

ATU, CUPE call on government to repeal Bill 150

The 2011 Ontario law forbidding strikes or lockouts at the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is being appealed as unconstitutional.

The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113 submitted the appeal to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on Oct. 26. The union represents more than 10,000 operating and maintenance staff with the TTC.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) joined to the action of behalf of its Local 2, which represents TTC electrical, signaling and instrumentation technicians, and its Local 5089, which represents TTC fare inspectors and special constables.

Bill 150, enacted on March 31, 2011, designated the TTC as an essential service and provided for binding arbitration if the union and employer were unable to arrive at a freely negotiated collective agreement.

“The right to bargain with your employer about the value of your skill, knowledge and effort is meaningless if you cannot legally withhold your labour as a part of the bargaining process,” said ATU Local 113 president Bob Kinnear.

“Our challenge to Bill 150 is of much larger consequence than our right to bargain for our work. It is also a challenge against the power of government to limit any of our Charter rights without compelling reasons that would stand up in a neutral court of law.”

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