Bus strike averted just hours before deadline
Published Sunday, September 21, 2008 8:55PM EDT
A transit strike in York Region was averted just hours before Sunday's midnight deadline.
Viva buses will operate as usual on Monday, the Amalgamated Transit Union said in a release.
"We have worked through the weekend and are pleased we were able to avert a work stoppage," Bob Kinnear, ATU Local 113 president said in a statement. "It will now be up to the members to determine if it is an acceptable settlement. A vote will be held later this week."
Details of the deal were not released as locals members were still be given the details.
More than 160 drivers were potentially going to go on strike. They are looking for a three-per-cent wage increase in each year of a three-year contract.
Bus drivers employed by VIVA said they would walk out on the job at midnight if they didn't receive a satisfactory offer from Veolia Transportation Inc. the company that operates the rapid transit service.
A strike would have forced 90 privately-operated Viva rapid-transit buses off the road, affecting about 35,000 commuters.
Earlier on Sunday, Kinnear told CTV Toronto the drivers are among the worst paid in the GTA -- about $5 less than the average TTC driver in Toronto. However, he said that employees are more concerned about issues revolving around their sick days and scheduling.
"They can take time off work sick without compensation but they still have to supply a medical certificate," he said. "It's not fair."
Kinnear also said the drivers' shifts are inconsistent.
Viva provides five bus rapid transit roots and links into TTC stations at Don Mills, Finch and Downsview.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Naomi Parness