A looming transit strike has the potential to risk the well-being of disabled passengers, says the executive director of Hagi Community Services.
David Shannon is calling on the city and local 966 of the Amalgamated Transit Union to make an exception in the case of disabled passengers ahead of Monday’s legal strike position date for the union.
He said many of the passengers rely on the services to get to important medical appointments, such as critical treatments and opportunities to meet with specialists.
“Their health will be jeopardized if they can’t get to these appointments,” Shannon said in an interview with CKPR News on Friday. “I worry that if there is a strike they wouldn’t be able to get there.”
Shannon added that many of the passengers have difficulty affording taxi transportation across the city and others rely on the transit service to get to their employment.
“Based on health and personal needs, there needs to be exceptions made. Persons with a disability cannot be used as a pawn should not be used as a pawn in negotiations,” he said.
The union and the city held conciliation talks on Thursday and Friday to attempt to hash out a deal. The union had been working without a contract since June 2012 and voted 99 per cent of job action in October.