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York Region transit workers & Miller Transit to resume talks

Striking transit workers holding up buses, Dec. 19, 2011. CITYNEWS.

At least one York Region transit operator is heading back to the bargaining table Friday, which may be good news for commuters.

Miller Transit and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1587 will resume talks after the union rejected an earlier offer from Miller on Jan. 6.

The decision comes after the municipality fired one of its operators on Monday and told two others including Miller Transit to come up with a “service recovery” plan by Friday.

“The record is clear that we have always been willing to negotiate, despite York Region Chairman Bill Fisch’s claims to the contrary,” ATU Local 1587 president Ray Doyle said in a statement Thursday.

“Our members sent a very clear message to this private contractor that their last offer fell very wide of the mark to get a settlement.”

Bus drivers and other employees have been on strike since Oct. 24, 2011, when contract talks between three companies and their unions failed.

The strike, which affects about 60 per cent of bus routes in the region, has displaced about 44,000 riders.
Local 1587 represents Miller Transit and First Canada workers. ATU Local 113 represents members from Veolia.

York Region municipality terminated its contract with First Canada on Monday, and is looking for a replacement that will begin to provide services on one of the 29 routes beginning Feb. 5.  On Tuesday, Local 113 rejected an offer from Veolia Transportation.