Transit strike averted as bus drivers, other workers agree to deal in Mississauga

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Published June 28, 2024 at 11:21 am

Anthony Urciuoli/hamilton.insauga.com photo

A strike by transit bus drivers in Mississauga has been averted after MiWay and its employees struck a tentative collective agreement late this week.

In a news release issued Friday morning, the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1572, which represents MiWay drivers and maintenance workers who had earlier been frustrated by stalled contract talks, said the agreement has staved off job action.

The union added the tentative deal was struck shortly after more than 150 MiWay workers had staged an informational picket outside Mississauga city hall on Wednesday morning before moving inside where city council was in session.

The union said negotiations began last Sept. 20 and they were followed by “months of intense deliberation and actions by MiWay workers to put pressure” on Mississauga’s transit provider.

“Our members worked hard for this contract and we believe it strikes the right balance between meeting their needs and maintaining the high standard of service that the residents of Mississauga deserve,” Local 1572 president Jack Jackson said in the news release.

The union added the deal addresses key issues of higher wages, improved benefits, better working conditions, and health and safety on the job. Workers will soon vote on the agreement, Jackson said.

Earlier this month, the transit operators and other workers voted overwhelmingly, by an 88 per cent count, to reject what at the time was the latest contract offer from the city.

Late last year, workers voted 98 per cent in favour of striking if it came to that, the union noted earlier.

Prior to getting the deal done late this week, Jackson said on Wednesday the transit workers had reached “their breaking point.”

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.

(Cover photo: MiWay X)

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