Maan Al-Humaidi and Noshin Diyafati Canadian Press
TORONTO — Travelers were concerned about a possible outage in the coming days at Union Station in Toronto on Wednesday after nearly 100 employees at Canada’s busiest transit station began a shutdown.
Ninety-five workers from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers went on strike at 12:01 a.m. after the union and the Toronto Railroad (TTR) failed to reach an agreement.
The workers are primarily responsible for the maintenance of signals and communications as well as the control of the train in the corridor of Union Railroad station.
Despite the strike, GO Transit and UP Express trains arrived on time on Wednesday morning.
Sarah Quinn said there were no delays on her flight to downtown Toronto. I took the GO train from Whitby, Ontario to Union Station.
But she said she feared the strike would affect her mobility in the coming days.
Ms. Quinn said she works as a nurse for the Ontario Nurses Association and supports the strikers even if the strike causes delays.
“It’s probably going to become a problem, but you know I’m also a union worker, so (I) am 100% with them,” she said.
Jaime Salazar said his train also arrived on time at Union Station. Take the GO train from Meadowvale Station in Mississauga, Ontario to downtown Toronto.
Mr Salazar said he always tries to leave the house early to avoid being late for work and will continue to do so during the strike.
A Metrolinx spokeswoman said early Wednesday that a contingency plan for the disruption had been put in place, and that the carrier was optimistic that the effects on GO Transit and UP Express services would be borderline.
However, Anne-Marie Aikins said the risk of resort travel complications could increase if there was a prolonged work break.
Metrolinx, which currently operates more than 300 trains daily to and from Union Station, advises customers to sign up for service alerts and check GO and UP Express train schedules before leaving home. Ms Aikins said Metrolinx will reach out to customers frequently to inform them of any delays or cancellations.
She said the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) subway service would not be affected.
In a statement issued on Wednesday morning, the International Brotherhood of Electricity Workers said that the union remains committed to working with the company to reach a fair and reasonable settlement.
However, the first general president of the Brotherhood’s System 11th Council, Steve Martin, claimed that the company’s refusal to negotiate “in earnest” and the lack of real value added to the previous memorandum of understanding that was rejected in October 2021 had given the Brotherhood. No choice but to initiate a “legal work stop”.
TTR said the workers had been without a new contract since December 2019.
In a statement, the operator said it had started negotiations with the union in early 2020, but the talks had been delayed due to the pandemic. They resumed last summer.
TTR said the union’s wage demands were at the center of the dispute.
This post was produced with financial assistance from Meta Exchanges and The Canadian Press for News.
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