President Marvin Alfred presented a deputation to the TTC Commissioners strongly opposing a proposal to contract out bus and streetcar servicing and cleaning.
The Local outlined that this is properly the work of Local 113 members, and that the union was not given any opportunity to make a proposal on having this work done in house by TTC employees. The Local stressed that the TTC was not acting in good faith on the issue of contracting out. The TTC is already embroiled in litigation with Local 113 over the TTC having improperly “contracted in” this work and stacking the procurement process against its own employees. The Local urged the TTC to authentically work with its union, rather than be drawn into further litigation.
Outsourcing these jobs to private businesses only creates dead-end jobs, paying barely above the minimum wage and substantially below a living wage. Creating a pool of dead-end jobs populated by persons from equity-seeking groups does significant harm when these workers could be earning a living wage at the TTC. Contracting this work to outside agencies deprives marginalized workers of good work opportunities that help bring stability to families and uplift communities.
Ian Fellows, Legal Counsel of Local 113, advised the TTC Board that contracting this work has resulted in jobs with less pay, less benefits, less security, and less opportunity for growth. Only the private business owner benefits while workers and our community lose. Local 113 was given three days notice to represent its case at this Board Meeting. This is yet another example of the TTC not acting in good faith, not being transparent and not offering a fair opportunity for its critical stakeholder – Local 113 – to present its expertise in providing solutions for better public transit.
The union’s intervention succeeded in persuading the TTC Commissioners to reduce the proposed contract period for the streetcar work from two years to one in order to provide Local 113 an opportunity to bring that work back in house.