GO Transit workers reach tentative agreement with Metrolinx

GO buses will be back on the road Saturday after Metrolinx reached a tentative agreement with the union representing transit workers who have been off work for four days.

“Metrolinx is pleased to announce that we have reached a three-year tentative agreement with ATU Local 1587,” Metrolinx chief spokeswoman Anne Marie Aikins said Thursday.

“This is good news for our ATU employees and our customers.”

Bus service will return on Saturday, Aikins said.

About 2,200 bus drivers, station attendants, transit security officers, fare inspectors and other GO Transit workers walked off the job Monday after negotiations with Metrolinx, the provincial transit agency in which oversees GO Transit and the Union Pearson Express.

GO Transit workers have been without a contract since June and have been in a legal strike position since October 1.

In a statement, ATU Local 1587 said it “has reached a strong tentative agreement with Metrolinx that addresses the union’s safety concerns and contracting out issues.”

At the center of the dispute were three union demands: that Metrolinx hire more full-time employees, that it eliminate “unnecessary spread times,” where workers have to wait on their buses mid-shift, and that it reinforces language that prevents the company from outsourcing jobs.

“Our members have remained strong and united throughout this process. Metrolinx tried to divide us,” said Local 1587 President Rob Cormier. “This strike shows that our members are ready to risk everything for justice.”

The strike has left approximately 15,000 GO Bus riders scrambling for travel alternatives. Some students and workers have been forced to stay at home.

Although GO rail service continued throughout the strike, fare inspectors, station attendants and transit security officers were also on leave.

With files by Megan Ogilvie.

Lex Harvey is a Toronto-based transportation reporter for the Star. Follow her on Twitter: @lexharvs


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