In another historic win for workers, the Ontario Court of Appeal in a majority decision, has affirmed that TTC workers’ right to strike is protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Today, the Court released its decision in an appeal launched by the Ford government attempting to save legislation that banned all TTC workers from engaging in any form of strike action. That legislation was found to be an unconstitutional violation of workers’ rights contrary to the freedom of association guaranteed by the Charter.

“Today is an important day, not just for transit workers but for all workers,” said Marvin Alfred, President of Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 113. “Despite the Ford government’s attacks, the Court of Appeal has clearly said that the right to strike is protected by the Charter and it is a right that cannot be stripped away at the whim of the government. The right to strike is at the heart of collective bargaining and the ability of workers to have control over their working lives and the conditions under which they work.”

This is the fourth judgement from a court or tribunal affirming the right to strike of TTC workers. Mr. Alfred said, “I would like to thank Ian Fellows, our lead counsel, and the legal team at Ursel Phillips Fellows and Hopkinson who were instrumental in achieving these successes.”

Asked about collective bargaining Mr. Alfred said, “Since our right to strike was restored last year, we have seen a change in bargaining for the better. Bargaining a collective agreement is never easy and it involves a great deal of hard work. We are committed to working to come to a fair agreement and we will do what it takes to ensure our members get the fair agreement they deserve.”

The judgement comes at a critical time with Local 113 in the midst of collective bargaining and with the possibility of a strike as early as June 7th, 2024.

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Additional Facts:

  • On May 8, 2023, Hon. Justice Chalmers of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice found that Ontario legislation banning TTC workers from striking violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. ATU Local 113 was successful in securing their members right to strike. To read the full decision, please see the link below:

  • ATU Local 113’s collective agreement expired on March 31, 2024.
  • The union’s last collective bargaining agreement was issued in 2021.
  • This is the first time in 10 years that the union can exercise their right to strike, following last year’s historic legal victory which restored this fundamental, constitutional right.
  • The last time ATU Local 113 members went on strike was in 2008.
  • Strike action can begin legally anytime after Friday, June 7th.

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