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TTC service could be disrupted Monday if electrical and trades strike, CEO warns

A Toronto Transit Commission sign is shown at a downtown Toronto subway stop Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy A Toronto Transit Commission sign is shown at a downtown Toronto subway stop Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
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The head of the TTC is warning of possible impacts to service on Monday if the union representing a group of more than 650 electrical and trades workers moves ahead with a strike.

CUPE Local 2, which represents 661 communications, electrical and signal workers at the TTC, has set a strike deadline of 12:01 a.m. on April 22.

In a statement released Friday, the transit agency said teams from the TTC and CUPE Local 2 will continue negotiating over the weekend in an effort to reach an agreement that will “avoid job action and potential service disruptions.”

“Talks have been productive and professional and I’m pleased that we are still at the table,” TTC CEO Rick Leary said in a written 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.”

Leary did not elaborate on how TTC service could be impacted but said that information will be communicated to customers and employees “as soon as possible.”

“Labour negotiations are not typically easy or straightforward, and this is the first time in 13 years TTC employees have had the ability to strike,” Leary continued.

“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.”

Earlier this week, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113, which represents more than 10,000 transit workers in Toronto, said it had taken the "first step toward strike action" after contract talks with the TTC stalled.

ATU Local 113 said it applied to the Ministry of Labour to request that a conciliator be appointed.

Unionized TTC workers are now legally able to strike for the first time in more than a decade after a court ruling last year struck down Ontario’s designation of the TTC as an essential service.

The TTC said Friday that public updates will be posted on social media and on its website.

The TTC added that it will make sure there is “direct communication” with its employees about any possible labour action and associated service disruptions.

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