Union requesting TTC not to terminate or put any employee on unpaid leave until arbitrator rules
TORONTO, ONTARIO – Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113, which represents close to 12,000 TTC workers, today filed an application for an injunction with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to pause the enforcement of the TTC’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy until an arbitrator makes a final decision on the union’s original grievance it filed on this issue.
ATU Local 113 is requesting that the Court order that the TTC not put any employees on unpaid leave or terminate their employment until an arbitrator decides the union’s case, or in the alternative, for 60 days. Under the TTC’s current policy, the TTC will place employees who haven’t disclosed their vaccination status on unpaid leave on November 20 and terminated on December 31.
“This injunction is not about vaccinations. As a union, it’s about protecting 2,000 jobs and dedicated public transit workers’ means to provide for themselves, their families and loved ones,” said Carlos Santos, ATU Local 113 President. “While ATU Local 113 supports COVID-19 vaccinations, we remain firm in our belief that getting vaccinated should be the personal choice of each worker. As a union, we have a duty to support our members and protect their rights.”
After putting themselves and their loved ones at risk to keep Toronto moving throughout the pandemic, the TTC wants to fire thousands of transit workers and implement harmful service cuts. The real reason for service cuts is low ridership, not workers’ vaccination status. The TTC should maintain service to avoid overcrowding and attract riders back to transit. Riders and Toronto’s dedicated transit heroes deserve better.
Instead of firing unvaccinated employees and cutting service, the TTC should offer sensible alternatives, such as regular testing for the small percentage of workers who wish not to receive the vaccine, so they can continue proudly serving Toronto. These sorts of measures have already been successfully executed in the nearby cities of Brampton and Mississauga and can be safely adopted in Toronto as well.
ATU Local 113 believes unvaccinated TTC workers deserve to have their day in court before the TTC fires them and takes away their livelihoods.
The TTC has one of the most punitive vaccine policies of all transit agencies in Canada. The policy is also inconsistent as it does not require TTC passengers to be vaccinated meaning that the vast majority of people entering TTC workspaces, vehicles or stations are not required to be vaccinated.