Union turns down offer in Ontario transit strike

Management requested Labour Board supervised vote

Striking York Region transit workers employed by Miller Transit have voted 83 per cent to reject the company’s latest offer.

The union representing the employees didn’t want to bring this offer to its members for a vote, but provincial legislation allows an employer to request the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) to force a one-time vote.

"There can now be not the slightest doubt that the membership is in full support of the union and its bargaining committee," said Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1587 president Ray Doyle.

Miller hasn’t commented on the vote.

Members of ATU Local 113 who are employed by Veolia Transportation will also be voting on the latest offer made by management in an OLRB-supervised vote on Jan 17.

"I predict our members will also totally reject Veolia's unacceptable offer," said ATU Local 113 president Bob Kinnear. "But we hope it doesn't get that far and we are in arbitration and back to work by the 17th.”

The third group of striking workers, employed by First Transit, is still waiting to hear from the company.

About 220 employees represented by ATU 113 are affected by the walkout, along with 340 drivers represented by ATU Local 1587.

The transit workers first walked off the job on Oct. 29, 2011 and are now in the 11th week of the strike.

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.

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