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GRT talks continue, workers set to strike Monday

Last Updated Apr 2, 2017 at 9:09 am EDT

Photo by 570's Leah Johansen

Grand River Transit employees and the Region of Waterloo went back to the bargaining table Saturday, after the union representing GRT workers rejected an agreement.

It was announced on Thursday evening that Unifor Local 4304, which represents the workers, did not ratify the terms of a new contract.

As a result, GRT operators, dispatchers, fleet mechanics, and service attendants may strike at 5 a.m. on April 3rd.

Tim Mitchell is the Unifor National Representative and says that workplace health and safety, combined with heavy-handed management tactics, drove their members to reject the Region’s offer.

“When workers vote to strike over working conditions, you know that the situation is toxic. Drivers take pride in servicing the Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge area. We hope to be back in a safe and respectful workplace as soon as possible.”

In a release, Mike Murray with the Region says they are surprised and disappointed at this outcome.

“We negotiated an agreement in good faith that the Unifor bargaining committee unanimously recommended that their members accept. We are disappointed that they have rejected it.”

The labour disruption is expected to affect Grand River Transit and BusPlus service, MobilityPlus, and bus terminals.

Stay with 570 NEWS as we continue to cover GRT strike action.