At 12:01 a.m. on April 20, 2022, our brothers and sisters at IBEW Local 2029 legally began their strike after System Council No. 11 of the IBEW and the Toronto Terminals Railway (TTR) were unable to reach an agreement.
Enough is enough
Members of IBEW Local 2029 have been without an agreement since 2019. They remained committed throughout the pandemic, ensuring an essential service remained operational to the public for nearly three years.
Steve Martin, Senior General Chairman for Systems Council No. 11 has stated that the TTR has “…refused to negotiate seriously with the [IBEW] Union.” A memorandum of settlement was voted down in October of last year and no progress has been made since.
Working hard resume normal service
This is the first time in Union Station’s 95-year history that signal and communication maintenance workers have resorted to a strike. “It’s really unfortunate that it came to this,” states one IBEW 2029 member in a video posted by Global News. “We would all rather be at work. We love our jobs.”
The strike is causing major delays in and out of Union Station as TTR management employs a skeletal staff. System Council No. 11 warns that travelers may experience delays or even cancellations. They hope to reach a settlement soon so that IBEW members may continue to serve the people commuting in and out of Union Station.
Standing with our Brothers and Sisters
The IBEW CCO stands firmly behind System Council No. 11 and IBEW Local 2029. Our brothers and sisters have gone above and beyond their duty, working nearly three years with no formal agreement in place.
“Negotiations are never easy,” states James Barry, Executive Secretary treasurer for the IBEW CCO which represents 11 IBEW Locals in the ICI sector throughout Ontario. “But to be without a collective agreement for almost three years is unacceptable. We commend the workers of IBEW Local 2029 who have persevered throughout a particularly difficult time to provide these essential services. They are deserving of a fair negotiation.”
The importance of a FAIR Settlement
We’ve seen progress in the ICI sector between unions and their counterpart Employers over the past three months. As various agreements reach their end date new ones have been ratified. With inflation hitting new highs, employers can no longer ignore the burden faced by employees as living costs rise.
In the case of essential workers, many are burnt out and overwhelmed. While wages are important, negotiations look at a complete package. Unions are looking out for the overall health and well-being of their members:
- Working conditions: are they sanitary and safe?
- Benefits: will employees have access to proper benefits?
- Paid Time Off: Do employees have access to sick leave and suitable vacation time?
We hope the TTR will begin to take negotiations seriously with the bargaining agents of Systems Council No. 11 and that a fair agreement will be reached soon.
To IBEW Local 2029 member who have gone above and beyond the past three years, we stand with you.
Learn more about the Union Station strike here.