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GO bus drivers will strike Monday unless a deal is reached with Metrolinx over the weekend, the union says

GO bus drivers will strike Monday unless a deal is reached with Metrolinx over the weekend, the union says

The union representing Metrolinx GO Transit bus drivers and other workers says it will go ahead with a strike on Monday unless a deal is reached with the provincial transit agency over the weekend.

Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1587 President Rob Cormier says his 2,200 members voted 81 percent to reject Metrolinx’s bid.

Cormier said the union’s key issues are job security and job security related to the hiring of contract workers from outside companies.

“Our members have been absolutely clear. We will not accept a deal unless it addresses our primary concern, which is recruitment,” Cormier said in a news release Friday.

“These basic anti-hiring protections are common to all other transit agencies in our region, with experienced staff working to ensure bus safety.”

As of 12:01 a.m. Monday, the union will go on strike if it can’t reach “some kind of resolution” with Metrolinx over the weekend, he said. Station managers, bus operators, maintenance workers and transport security officers are among those taking part in the strike.

A Metrolinx spokesman said the crown corporation was “disappointed” with the union’s move to reject the current offer.

“We will be working throughout the weekend to reach an agreement and be open to discussing ways forward with our ATU workers,” Anne Marie Aikins said in a statement to CBC Toronto.

“If a strike goes ahead as announced, there will be no bus services on Monday 7th November at 12.01am. Trains will continue as scheduled.”

Negotiations with Metrolinx began in April and members have been working without a contract since June 1, according to the union.

“We’ve had enough: We’ll be picketing starting Monday until we reach an agreement that protects the job security of our current and future members,” Cormier said.

But Cormier says the union “remains committed” to continuing negotiations with Metrolinx to reach an agreement.

The move to vote for strike action comes after CUPE education workers walked off the job on Friday. Both unions have objected to Act 124’s wage freeze, which limits compensation increases to one percent, the ATU said.

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