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UPDATE: Transit workers vote in favour of strike action

ATU Local 966 represents 150 transit members, including conventional and Lift+ drivers and technicians in Thunder Bay.
Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 966 President Fred Caputo (left) during their meeting on Thursday, December 21, 2023

THUNDER BAY — An overwhelming 99 per cent of Thunder Bay Transit Workers have sent a message to their leadership that they are in favour of strike action.

Negotiations between the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 966 and the City of Thunder Bay have been ongoing since early June, with talks breaking off as of Dec. 14.

“This is always a very difficult and frustrating time for our members,” said ATU Local 966 President Fred Caputo in a statement Thursday night.

“They have been working understaffed and in an ever-increasing stressful work environment in an attempt to keep conventional buses and Lift+ specialized units on the road for the riding public.”

Caputo went on to say “The City seems to always be in financial crisis when bargaining with transit workers begins. Members are fed up hearing there is no money for ATU members and then seeing city administration staff increase their wage bands by 12 per cent with no concessions.”

City council approved an increase of up to 12 per cent for some administrative staff in 2022, with most receiving smaller increases of five to eight per cent.

In a separate interview with Dougall Media on Friday, Caputo stated that a conciliator will be appointed to help with further talks.

“Hopefully in late January, we'll go back to the bargaining table and we'll see how that goes. If it does break down during conciliation talks, the conciliator will do a no board report which will activate after 15 days and then we're officially in a strike position. So we're looking possibly [into] February if everything goes according to plan,” Caputo noted.

ATU Local 966 represents 156 transit members, including conventional and Lift+ drivers and technicians. Caputo said 100 of those members voted on Thursday.

The previous Collective Agreement expired on June 30.

Dougall Media has reached out to the City of Thunder Bay for comment on this story


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