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1 union in YRT strike to return to contract talks

Disgruntled commuters in York Region may be happy to hear one of the unions involved in the eight-week-old transit strike plans to return to the bargaining table. But any hope may be tempered by the fact the union isn’t optimistic about reaching a deal.

On Saturday, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113 is set to return to the bargaining table with Veolia Transportation, which is contracted by York Region to run VIVA buses.

While resuming talks is a positive sign, Local 113 president Bob Kinnear has said he’s not optimistic about his prospects of striking a deal.

The two sides haven’t talked since workers walked off the job on Oct. 24.

ATU Local 1587 is also involved in the strike. It represents employees of Miller Transit and First Canada. Those companies are contracted to run York Region Transit (YRT) buses.

The strike has affected about 50,000 people who rely on the service.

So far, no talks are scheduled between Local 1587 and Miller and First Canada.

A week ago, York Region Council announced it wouldn’t intervene and said it wouldn’t support provincial back-to-work legislation. On Monday, York Region officials informed the public, via Facebook, that the contractors planned to reach out to the unions to resume negotiations.