Nearly 100 workers largely responsible for train control and signal maintenance along the Union Station rail corridor may go on strike shortly after midnight tonight.
The employees, all of whom are members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, filed a 72-hour strike notice over the weekend and will be on strike as of 12:01 a.m. tomorrow.
According to a spokesperson for Toronto Terminals Railway, which is responsible for the corridor, officials are meeting with union leadership today to try to “avoid a labor disruption.”
However, the spokesperson said that even if the employees do initiate a strike the impact on commuter services should be minimal.
“We can confirm that the union has issued their 72-hour notice to remove their services, however, we are prepared with a contingency plan that will ensure commuter service runs efficiently and minimize any impact on customers,” Shannon Friedrich said. “We will continue to work with the union to resolve this dispute and find a satisfactory resolution to avoid any work disruption.”
Friedrich said that the union has been without a new collective bargaining agreement since 2019. She said that Toronto Terminal Railways and union leadership did reach a tentative agreement in the summer of 2021 but it was not ultimately ratified by members.
“The current dispute is due to increased wage demands from the union for the two years of the pandemic, even though the company has kept all employees gainfully employed while commuter train service has been significantly reduced,” she said.
In an interview with CP24 on Tuesday morning, Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins said that GO Transit does have contingency plans in place to ensure its trains continue to run in the event of a strike by the workers.
But she said that delays are possible.
“I would like to guarantee there won’t be and we hope to avoid them but there could be,” she said. “We will be communicating broadly if there is possible delays or cancellations and we will let customers know using all of our different channels.”