|Strike by Toronto rail workers averted|
August 9th 2010 | Source: CBC | Printer friendly
A strike that could have disrupted service for
travellers at Toronto's busy Union Station has been narrowly
averted after a tentative deal was reached with the union
representing railway workers Monday night.
Toronto Terminals Railway, a company that provides construction, operation and maintenance services at Union Station and the Union Station corridor, had faced a strike deadline of 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.
But Canadian Auto Workers representative Bob Fitzgerald said negotiators were able to come up with a deal he feels "comfortable" presenting to union members.
Fitzgerald said he expects the 125 members represented by CAW Local 4003 to vote on the agreement over the weekend or early next week. Details were not disclosed.
It will be "business as usual" for railway workers Tuesday, Fitzgerald said, though he wouldn't rule out a future strike if the deal is rejected.
Earlier Monday, GO Transit and Via Rail said they didn't believe a strike would affect their services.
In a statement, Via Rail said "it will continue to operate normally through Union Station in the unlikely event of a strike by Toronto Terminal Railways employees. Via had been assured by TTR that, if required, an operational contingency plan has been established to ensure that Via trains would continue to operate as scheduled to and from Union Station."
Federal laws require a certain amount of maintenance on the tracks to safely operate trains, the union said.
"We had about two or three key issues on the table that needed to be addressed," Fitzgerald said earlier. "The company decided they didn't want to address those and broke off [last Friday].
He said the union asked the company to resume talks Monday morning.
Some of the key issues were about pay and seniority rights, Fitzgerald said, without going into details. Members of the union had voted 94 per cent in favour of a possible strike action in July.