Bus drivers and other transit workers seek new deal to avoid strike in Mississauga

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Published June 10, 2024 at 2:59 pm

MiWay contract talks in Mississauga June 2024.

Bus drivers and other public transit workers in Mississauga have voted overwhelmingly to reject the latest contract offer from the city as the two sides try to hammer out a new collective bargaining agreement.

The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1572, which represents MiWay drivers and other transit employees, said in a news release today 88 per cent of members voted to reject the most recent offer from the City of Mississauga.

Union officials described the vote result as “a resounding declaration of solidarity and strength” from MiWay workers.

“The vote underscores the commitment of union members to uphold their rights and secure a fair contract,” ATU officials said in the news release, adding the rejection of the city’s proposal “sends a clear message that (workers) refuse to settle for anything less than what they deserve.”

The union noted the current stalemate has been reached despite “extensive negotiations between the ATU and MiWay.”

The two camps began negotiating a new deal last Sept. 20, the union said, and after 35 full days devoted to bargaining, they’re still “far apart” on an agreement that would be satisfactory to both groups.

The union said workers are seeking fair wages, improved benefits and better working conditions that address health and safety concerns. They’ve also now asked for a conciliator to be appointed in an effort to strike a deal.

Last month, Mississauga city council approved a plan to hire 44 new MiWay drivers and 11 bus mechanics as the city’s transit provider bumps up service on some of the busiest routes.

In total, MiWay officials said earlier, service on some high-use transit routes will be boosted by about 57,000 service hours and some 2,400 hours of additional maintenance and repair service to get buses back on the street faster.

With MiWay ridership back to and exceeding pre-pandemic numbers as of late 2023, transit officials said the latest service upgrades are needed in order to meet the growing demand.

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