ATU Canada

Outaouais transit workers serve 72-hour strike notice

Gatineau public transit users could be forced to look at other means of transportation by week’s end as the union that represents the Quebec region’s public transit workers has given the Outaouais regional bus system a 72-hour strike notice.

The notice comes as the Canada Industrial Relations Board ruled Monday that the Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO) is not an essential service.

“Yes, the notice has been sent,” said Félix Gendron, the president of the Syndicat uni du transport Local 591, in an email Tuesday.

While the notice clears the way for strike action as early as week’s end, a strike could then be called any time over the next 60 days, when a new strike notice would be required.

Gendron said the union will have more to say publicly after a series of meetings with its members on Wednesday. The last of the meetings is scheduled for 7 p.m., he said.

The STO had argued “that the response time for ambulance services and firefighters will be affected to the extent that the health and safety of the public will be in danger.”

But in a unanimous decision, the CIRB ruled that “the Board is not satisfied that in the event of a strike declared by the union and its members or a lockout declared by the employer, it is necessary to issue an order for the maintenance of certain activities or supply of services to prevent an immediate and serious danger to the health and safety of the public.

In a statement posted on its web site, the STO said it “remains hopeful that it will be able to continue the negotiations in order to reach an agreement that is satisfactory and fair for employees, patrons and taxpayers.”

At the heart of the labour strife are the terms of a collective agreement to replace the contract that expired two years ago.

According to the STO, transportation services for people with disabilities would not be affected
by a possible strike because Paratransit is provided by a subcontractor.

“A mediation meeting is planned for this Friday, Jan. 20,” the STO said.

But Gendron would not say whether the union would be attending the mediation meeting.

The union withdrew from labour negotiations on Jan. 6 “until further notice” after disciplinary measures were imposed on some of its members.

Last month, the union voted last 98 per cent in favour of a strike mandate within 60 days.

STO not an essential service, board rules as strike looms

As Gatineau’s public transit workers prepare to vote on whether or not to invoke their strike mandate, the Canada Industrial Relations Board ruled Monday that transit is not an essential service.

The Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO) had urged the board to rule transit services must be maintained during peak hours in the event of a strike.

The STO argued that a strike would cause traffic to increase, slowing response time for emergency vehicles “to the extent that the health and safety of the public will be in danger,” the decision detailed.

But the board sided with the union, which pointed out that emergency services would be able to use bus lanes to maintain response times in the event of a transit strike.

The union representing public transit workers in Gatineau walked away from labour negotiations with the STO earlier this month after disciplinary measures were imposed on its president, Félix Gendron, and other members of the union.

Members of the Syndicat uni du Transport Local 591 are expected to vote on Wednesday whether or not to go ahead with the strike. The union must give a minimum notice of 72 hours.

In early December 2016, transit workers voted 98 per cent in favour of a strike within 60 days.

The STO is in the process of renewing a collective agreement with 485 drivers and 115 employees responsible for bus maintenance.

​In December 2008, OC Transpo workers went on strike after the Canadian Industrial Relations Board ruled it would not force workers to return to work since transit wasn’t deemed an essential service in Ottawa. Transit service was disrupted for two months as the strike stretched on.

City hurries to fix bug-plagued radio system before adding police and fire


A new multimillion-dollar radio system plagued by bugs is scheduled to be implemented across the City of Ottawa this year, spurring staff to fix the errors before the police and fire departments hit the airwaves.

“We have work to do,” according to Pierre Poirier, head of security and emergency management.

“When we deal with first responder agencies, there’s another level of importance to make sure everything operates as intended.”

The problems with the city’s new radio system go beyond the “leap second” snafu on New Year’s Eve, when workers with OC Transpo and public works lost radio service.

There has been a problem at Transpo in recent months where the radio system crashes when several users switch over to one channel.

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2016 Santa Bus ATU 1722 Kelowna

Congratulations to ATU Local 1722 on the great work they were able to
accomplish for the community.


Hamilton bus driver praised for quick-thinking after helping man who slipped on ice

It might be the pain medication, Andrew Taylor jokes — but the Hamilton man is convinced he met an angel.

It was last Tuesday, Dec. 20. He had gone to the barber for a shave, and then stopped at the LCBO to pick up a bottle of wine. His daughters were home for an early Christmas dinner and his wife was busy at home in the kitchen.

As he headed home on Main Street East near the traffic circle, Taylor, 52, slipped on the ice.

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Tank: Transit troubles resemble a bus loop

Bus routes are based on repetition — driving a bus around the same loop again and again.

For that reason, there’s a certain symmetry to having arrived at the same spot as four years ago with respect to a contract with transit union employees. In three months, somewhat unbelievably, Saskatoon Transit employees will once again be without a contract.

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As promised at the last Canadian Council meeting, we are forwarding the information from SEIU on the Million Women’s March in Washington on January 21, 2017. If you require any further information, please contact Sister Stewart directly at



Comme nous l’avons promis au cours de la réunion la plus récente du Conseil canadien, nous vous faisons suivre l’information de l’UIES au sujet de la Marche d’un million de femmes sur Washington qui aura lieu le 21 janvier 2017. Si vous souhaitez obtenir de plus amples renseignements, veuillez communiquer avec la consœur Stewart directement à l’adresse

Dear Brother/Sister,

As President of SEIU Healthcare and International Vice-President of SEIU International, the fight for equality is something I am a part of every day. The rhetoric of the past election cycle in the United States insulted and demeaned many of us and we must take a stand!

On January 21st, 2017, the day after Donald Trump will be sworn in as President of the United States, there will be a Million Women’s March in Washington, D.C.

The idea for this event is to have one million women involved; and as a Canadian woman who exemplifies leadership, I urge you to join me to march at this monumental occasion.

Our voices will be heard and our presence must be felt. As strong, proud Canadian women, we need to stand in solidarity with our neighbours to the south for the protection of women’s rights and marginalized communities.
Together we will send a clear message that Canada will never tolerate those types of politics. Together we can make a difference.

The plan is to meet in Washington and march together with Canadian flags and wearing red and white. Would be great if we had 500 Canadian women there.
I am asking that as a leader of your organization that you consider sending women officers, executive board members, women committee members and rank and file leaders. As a progressive organizations and as proud Canadians, we must voice our resistance to this type of attack and oppression. I look forward to seeing your organization there.

Please e-mail me before December 31 to let me know if you will be joining me in Washington. I look forward to us standing side-by-side, fighting fear and ignorance and spreading hope and compassion.

For more information please see FACEBOOK PAGE:

In Solidarity,

Sharleen Stewart
SEIU Healthcare


Chers frères et sœurs,

En tant que présidente de SEIU Healthcare et vice-présidente internationale de SEIU International, je me bats pour l’égalité au quotidien. Les discours du dernier cycle électoral aux États-Unis ont insulté et rabaissé bon nombre d’entre nous et nous devons nous défendre!

Le 21 janvier 2017, soit le jour suivant l’investiture de Donald Trump à titre de président des États-Unis, se tiendra la « Million Women’s March », une grande marche des femmes à Washington, D.C.
L’objectif est d’obtenir la participation d’un million de femmes et je vous invite, en tant que Canadienne occupant une position d’influence, à profiter de cette occasion unique pour venir marcher avec moi.

Nos voix seront entendues et notre présence doit se faire sentir. Fières Canadiennes, nous devons afficher notre solidarité avec nos voisins du sud pour la protection des droits des femmes et des collectivités marginalisées.

Ensemble, nous enverrons le message clair que le Canada ne tolérera en aucun cas de telles politiques. Ensemble, nous pouvons changer les choses.

Le plan est de nous rencontrer à Washington et de marcher ensemble en brandissant le drapeau du Canada, vêtues de blanc et de rouge. Ce serait fantastique de pouvoir compter sur la participation de 500 Canadiennes.

Aux chefs d’organisations, je vous demande de considérer d’envoyer des femmes dirigeantes et membres du conseil de direction, des femmes membres de comités et des chefs de la base du syndicat. En tant qu’organisations progressistes et en tant que fières Canadiennes, nous devons exprimer notre refus d’accepter ce genre d’attaques et d’oppression. J’espère pouvoir compter sur vous.

Veuillez m’envoyer un courriel avant le 31 décembre 2016 à l’adresse pour m’indiquer si vous serez des nôtres à Washington. Au plaisir de marcher à vos côtés pour combattre la peur et l’ignorance et inspirer l’espoir et la compassion.

Pour obtenir de plus amples renseignements, visitez la page Facebook de l’événement :

En toute solidarité,

Sharleen Stewart
SEIU Healthcare

Don’t make Hamilton LRT a private-public partnership, Horwath warns

Andrea Horwath says she’s “really worried” that Hamilton’s light-rail transit (LRT) will be a private operation that places the bottom line over the needs of residents.

The Ontario NDP leader and Hamilton Centre MPP discussed the project in a Facebook Live interview Wednesday with CBC Hamilton.

Horwath said she’s concerned about plans to make LRT a private-public partnership, or P3. The $1 billion system should be publicly owned and operated, she said.

“If the service is about providing value to private interest, how do we make sure it’s Hamiltonians’ interests that are at the top of the agenda?”

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Saskatoon transit workers sign new agreement to accept DB pension changes

Saskatoon transit workers have withdrawn their job action, which included work to rule and a ban to overtime, after a majority ratified a collective agreement with the City of Saskatoon on Tuesday.

Members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 615 voted 55.83 per cent in favour of the agreement and city council will finalize the deal with a vote on Thursday. By signing the new agreement, transit workers have agreed to join eight other unions and associations in accepting changes to the defined benefit pension plan.

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Workers Ratify Transit Agreement

The work to rule campaign and ban open overtime affecting city transit is over.

Amalgamated transit union local 615 has ratified a tentative agreement with the City of Saskatoon. That means all transit service is back to the regular schedule. The city says that the agreement includes a 10 per cent wage hike and back pay to 2012.

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Saskatoon Transit workers to vote on tentative agreement tonight

Tonight, Saskatoon Transit workers will be voting on a deal that could end a labour scuffle that has lasted for years.

Last week, the Amalgamated Transit Union announced it had reached a tentative agreement with the City of Saskatoon after their latest round of bargaining.

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We fully support our Brothers and Sisters at ATU 1722.


City of Kelowna has few options in transit strike

KELOWNA – While the City of Kelowna says it will stay out the dispute between Central Okanagan bus drivers and the company that manages them, city staff are still keeping a close eye on what could be a long and protracted fight.

Members of the Amalgamated Transit Union local 1722, which represents bus drivers and support staff from Kelowna, West Kelowna, Peachland and Lake Country, walked off the job this morning, Nov. 10 at 4:30 a.m. and at noon surrounded a neighbouring city works lot on Hardy Street.

President Scott Lovell says forcing city workers to find last minute places to store their work vehicles is necessary in order to get the city’s attention.

Transit strike Thursday

Transit drivers in the Central Okanagan will hit the picket lines Thursday.

The announcement was made Tuesday night by Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1722 president Scott Lovell.

Lovell said union members voted to reject the latest offer from First Canada, a multi-national corporation based in Scotland.


Central Okanagan buses still running despite strike notice


Public transit users have a little more time to figure out an alternate form of transportation.

The Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 1722, served 72 hour strike notice Thursday, after contract talks ground to a halt and were in a position to take job action as of Sunday. They’re waiting, however, for the membership to weigh in on the deal that triggered the strike notice.

That will be done Tuesday night, said Scott Lovell, president of ATU local 1722.

“Then at that point we will present a strike action plan and the membership will judge what they are comfortable with,” he said.

“We regret we may have to withdraw our services, but we must take action due to the inability of First Canada to negotiate a fair collective agreement with us.”

Hundreds of U of M staff still working but unions encourage support for strikers


3 unions encourage other University of Manitoba staff to join picket line.

Hundreds of University of Manitoba staff members, including sessional instructors, caretakers and administrative personnel, are required to work during a faculty strike, but unions are encouraging them to show support for the roughly 1,200 strikers.

West Vancouver reaches tentative deal with Blue Bus drivers, full service to resume Tuesday morning

After less than a day on strike, Blue Bus drivers will be back on the road Tuesday morning after a tentative agreement was met with the District of West Vancouver late Monday night.

ATU Local 615 Wants MOORE!

Strike will park West Vancouver’s Blue Buses Monday morning

Transit buses will not be running in West Vancouver on Monday after last-minute negotiations between the district and the union representing West Vancouver Municipal Transit drivers and mechanics broke down Sunday night.

West Vancouver Blue Bus employees take full scale strike

It’s official, starting Monday 149 West Vancouver Blue Bus operators and mechanics are putting the brakes on work after negotiation talks with the district took a negative turn.


Striking West Vancouver Blue Bus drivers to suspend service Monday

If you use the Blue Bus Service in West Vancouver, plan for a different mode of transportation – drivers are putting the brakes on service Monday.

The union and district are in the middle of a bitter contract dispute, and drivers began job action Monday of this week with an overtime ban.

Bill Tieleman, Spokesperson for Amalgamated Transit Union Local 134 says they’re now ramping that up.

“It certainly affects those riders who might be going to Vancouver from West Vancouver and taking a Blue Bus. Blue Buses will not be running on Monday. It certainly does cause additional problems potentially for SeaBus because people might be using SeaBus instead of West Vancouver Buses.”

Mouseland – Tommy Douglas



Union concerned for Regina transit workers’ safety after two bus drivers allegedly attacked

Don Baker is concerned for the safety of his fellow Regina Transit workers as he says two bus drivers have been physically assaulted within the past few weeks.

Further, the city is “not even acknowledging that their own employees are being assaulted,” said Baker, the president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 588.

He says bus drivers endure verbal abuse on a regular basis. In his own work as a bus driver, he estimates a customer lashes out at least weekly.

West Van’s Blue Bus service could face disruptions as union plans job action

West Vancouver commuters may face disruptions in bus service beginning on Monday after talks broke down Friday between the District of West Vancouver and the union representing Blue Bus drivers and maintenance staff.

The union has declared a ban on overtime, starting Monday morning, according to Geoff Devlin, president and business agent of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 134, which represents the Blue Bus drivers, community shuttle drivers, servicemen and mechanics.

ATU Canada Supports Local 615 Saskatoon, #WheresTheFairness Rally

On Behalf of ATU 615 I would like to thank each and everyone of you for participating in this event. You have travelled a long distance and sacrificed your time just to be with us and our members have seen firsthand that we have the ATU family supporting us as well as Saskatchewan Federation of Labor and Saskatoon District Labor Council affiliate locals as well as federal and provincial NDP and candidates for the upcoming civic election.

Memo Re: School Bus Drivers




Brothers and Sisters this rally is about all workers and the generations to come. Our children and their children.

Please join the Labour Movement as we Rally for Decent Work in Ontario. We are fighting for a $15 minimum wage and an end to precarious part-time employment.

Let’s send a message the Government can’t deny.

Federal, Ontario Liberals sign $1.49B transit funding agreement

The federal government has cracked open its coffers with $1.49 billion in new transit infrastructure money for everything from new transit vehicles to upgraded stations.

The details were announced Tuesday morning by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne at a municipal transit garage in Barrie, Ont.

About $500 million of the projects announced this morning will be in Toronto, with Ottawa next on the list at $156 million.
Waterloo, Barrie and Sudbury, where the federal cabinet just wrapped up a two-day retreat, will receive about $30.6 million combined for 20 projects.
In Toronto the money will go toward fixing up bridges, a subway yard upgrade and replacing a fire main at Wilson Yard along with upgrades to buses and streetcars.

ATU Member Killed in NJ Transit Accident


Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of the fellow ATU member killed and the injured victims of the tragic NJ Transit bus accident.

Paul Thorp,
President ATU Canada