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TTC workers could go on strike at midnight on Monday if deal not reached

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The clock is ticking down on the final few hours of negotiations between the TTC and members of the union representing about 650 communications, electrical, and signal workers.

After months of unsuccessful contract talks between the two sides, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Local 2 is set to strike on Monday at 12:01 a.m., if a deal isn't reached.

The workers have been without a collective agreement since March 2022.

In February, they voted 99.3 per cent in favour of a strike mandate following several rounds of bargaining.

The TTC and the union have continued to meet over the weekend in an effort to find common ground.

The main sticking point is wages that keep up with “surging inflation rates,” CUPE Local 2 President Sumit Guleria, said in a statement last month.

“None of us desire a strike, yet we’re left with no choice,” he said.

“Our services are critical for public safety and directly impact customer well-being. Fair recognition and treatment of our members’ invaluable contributions are imperative.”

Job action could cause service disruptions, says TTC

If a deal can’t be reached, there could be service disruptions, the city’s transit agency said in an April 19 statement.

“While I remain optimistic we can reach an agreement at the table that prevents a strike, we also need to be honest and let our employees know there could be job action next week that impacts their work. In addition, we need to let our customers know that there could be impacts to their TTC trips,” wrote TTC CEO Rick Leary, who did not elaborate on how service could be impacted.

He went on to note that negotiations have been “productive and professional”, adding that he’s “pleased that we are still at the table.”

“However, I believe the mandate our Board has approved and our offers within that mandate are fair to the workers and affordable for the TTC and we will continue to negotiate in good faith,” Leary said.

A CUPE spokesperson told CP24.com that bargaining is presently ongoing and both parties have agreed not to comment until midnight.Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow spoke with reporters about the possible TTC workers strike on Sunday afternoon.

“I know that the unions and the TTC, all of us want to the TTC to be reliable, affordable, and safe and convenient. And with that goal, I think we can come together,” she said.

“Of course, the workers have the right to bargain and what I believe is that they are talking today.”

If a strike happens, it will be the first time that unionized TTC workers walk off the job in nearly 13 years following a court ruling last year that struck down Ontario's designation of the TTC as an essential service.

With files from CP24’s Codi Wilson and Joshua Freeman

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