TORONTO, October 26, 2015 /CNW/- Ontario`s 2011 law prohibiting strikes or lockouts at the Toronto Transit Commission (“TTC”) is being challenged by the courts as unconstitutional. The complaint was filed today with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice by the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 (“ATU”), which represents more than 10,000 TTC operations and maintenance officers. The action is accompanied by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (“CUPE”) on behalf of Premises 2 and 5089, which represent TTC`s electron, signalling and instrumentation technicians, as well as inspectors and officers of TTC collective agreements. Last February, in a case involving the Government of Saskatchewan and several provincial unions – including CUPE – the Supreme Court took new steps in favour of the right to strike for public service employees as an essential part of the collective bargaining process. Previous Supreme Court decisions had limited the right of Canadian workers to strike, although Canada ratified Convention 87 of the International Labour Organization (ILO) on freedom of association. The ILO has repeatedly decided that the right to strike can only be limited in exceptional cases if the interruption of an essential service would endanger the life, personal safety or health of the entire population or part of the population. On March 31, 2011, the McGuinty Liberal government passed Bill 150 of the Toronto Labours Resolution Act transit commission in response to a request from a Toronto City Councillor led by Mayor Rob Ford. The Act called the TTC an “essential service” and provided for a binding arbitration procedure where the union and the employer were unable to reach a freely negotiated collective agreement. All offers of candidates depend on compliance with training requirements and the ability to obtain special constable status with the OPP. Applicants must move on to this stage to take the next step. In a City of Toronto staff report in September 2008, it was found that “there was no significant effect on response times or responsiveness of Toronto Fire Services, Toronto Emergency Medical Services and Toronto Police Services following a strike by TTC employees and the interruption of TTC services” earlier this year. Nor was there any data to support the public health risks arising from the strike.
ATU Local 113 President Bob Kinnear says the Charter of Rights and Freedoms would be hollow if it could be ignored, because “it can be uncomfortable to bypass the city if the transit system breaks down.” During this interview, candidates are required to disclose information about how they refer to their OPP-mandated context. “The right to negotiate with your employer the value of your skills, knowledge and effort makes no sense if you cannot legally retain your work as part of the negotiation process.