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GO bus drivers ratify contract

A GO Transit bus is shown in an undated file photo. CITYNEWS

Commuters across the GTA can breathe a sigh of relief. GO buses will continue to run as usual after drivers and other workers voted to accept a contract deal after threatening to strike.

About 1,500 bus drivers, technicians, station attendants and office staff represented by the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) local 1587 cast a ballot Wednesday to ratify an agreement with Metrolinx, the provincial agency that runs GO Transit.

The GO workers had threatened to strike on Oct. 24—the same day York Region Transit (YRT) employees hit the bricks.

The terms of the ratified contract haven’t been made public.

On a typical weekday, GO buses alone transport 37,000 riders.

Meanwhile, thousands of transit users in York Region continue to make alternative arrangements as the transit strike there stretches into its second week.

Bus drivers and other workers from three separate private companies—Miller Transit, First Canada and Veolia Transportation—under contract to YRT walked off the job after contract negotiations failed.

The strike has affected approximately 44,000 people.

Those workers are calling for better wages and benefits.

The ATU Local 1587 represents Miller and First Canada workers and says they earn about 40 per cent less than their counterparts around the GTA.

The ATU Local 113 represents Veolia workers, who operate VIVA service. The union claims Veolia is demanding major concessions to benefit packages.