Nearly 100 rail workers at Toronto’s Union Station could soon go on strike

Nearly 100 workers who are primarily responsible for train control and signal maintenance along the Union Station rail corridor could walk off the job just after midnight tonight.

The employees, who are all members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, submitted a 72-hour strike notice over the weekend and will be in a legal strike position as of 12:01 am tomorrow.

A spokesperson for the Toronto Terminals Railway, which is responsible for the corridor, tells CP24 that officials are meeting with union leadership today to try to “avoid a labor disruption.”

However, the spokesperson said that even if the employees do initiate a strike the impact on commuter services should be minimal.

“We can confirm that the union has issued their 72-hour notice to remove their services, however, we are prepared with a contingency plan that will ensure commuter service runs efficiently and minimize any impact on customers,” Shannon Friedrich said. “We will continue to work with the union to resolve this dispute and find a satisfactory resolution to avoid any work disruption.”

Friedrich said that the union has been without a new collective bargaining agreement since 2019. She said that Toronto Terminal Railways and union leadership did reach a tentative agreement in the summer of 2020 but it was not ultimately ratified by members.

“The current dispute is due to increased wage demands from the union for the two years of the pandemic, even though the company has kept all employees gainfully employed while commuter train service has been significantly reduced,” she said.

Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins tells CP24 that GO Transit does have contingency plans in place to ensure its trains continue to run in the event of a strike by the workers.

She said that any impact on GO Transit operation should be very limited and that customers will be notified well ahead of time should there be more significant disruptions to service.

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