Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

February 22, 2011 18:09 ET

Putting Public Interest Before Ideology "Better Way" for TTC, Says CUPE Ontario President

Simplistic Ideological Opportunism a Diversion from Real Transit Issues Facing Toronto, Says Fred Hahn

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 22, 2011) - The best thing Premier Dalton McGuinty's could do to help Toronto transit users is to use his good office to urge Toronto Mayor Ford to bring the TTC to the table and negotiate a continuity of service deal based on three unions' commitment not to strike in the 2011 contract bargaining, the President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees warned today.

Hahn was responding to the McGuinty Government's tabling today of the Toronto Transit Commission Labour Disputes Resolution Act. If voted into law, the Bill would strip TTC employees of their guaranteed Charter rights to bargain collectively without interference.

"Thoughtful people understand that building a better TTC starts with building bridges through dialogue. That's why former Conservative leader John Tory has come out against new, so-called essential services legislation," said Hahn.

The three unions that represent TTC workers have taken extraordinary steps to reassure riders that there won't be a labour disruption during the current round of negotiations.

On Friday, Tory, a former Toronto Mayoral candidate, called Ford and TTC Chair Karen Stintz' attempt to torpedo the unions' unprecedented pledge an effort to score "political points, or … settling old scores, which it shouldn't be about."

Noting that only 11 days of TTC service have been lost to labour disputes in the past 20 years, Hahn wondered why the Premier is dancing to Rob Ford's tune.

"Over 20 years, fewer than two-one thousandths of one per cent of days have been lost to labour action, so let's all not fall into the trap of giving Rob Ford and Karen Stintz a reward for bad behaviour," he said.

"John Tory is right. The people of Toronto want continuity of service, something the unions have offered. Responsible government means sitting down, talking and putting the public's interest before ideology. The unions have demonstrated a willingness to do so, and the only obstacles to that appear to be Rob Ford and Karen Stintz," Hahn added.

Hahn called on McGuinty to shelve the proposed legislation and urge Toronto's Mayor and the TTC Chair to do the right thing and have a meaningful discussion with the unions to, "build a better TTC that meets Toronto's needs."

Contact Information

  • CUPE Ontario
    Fred Hahn
    CUPE Communications
    Kevin Wilson