Word came down about an hour ago that members of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1189 have rejected the City of Guelph's "final offer" and city staff is moving to lockout Guelph Transit as of Monday. Hope no one that depends on the bus to go to work, school, doctor's appoints or shopping minds.
Guelph, ON, July 11, 2014—Today, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1189 members voted to reject the City of Guelph’s final contract offer.
The City believes it has exhausted all traditional negotiation options and, with the support of Guelph City Council, made the difficult decision to lock out the 205 members of ATU Local 1189 and suspend traditional Guelph Transit service as of 12:01 a.m. July 14. Guelph Transit Mobility Service for pre-booked medical appointments will continue during the labour disruption.
On Saturday, July 12, media representatives are invited to hear comments from Mayor Karen Farbridge and Chief Administrative Officer Ann Pappert explaining the reasons behind the City’s decision.
Sadly, in a weird fluke of fate, I'll be working a rare Saturday morning shift at my day job, so I won't be able to be there. If you're worried about not being able to get where you want to go, I encourage concerned Guelphites to go down to city hall tomorrow and make your voice heard.
In an interesting side note, the last time the possibility of a Guelph Transit work stoppage reared its ugly head was in 2007. I covered it for thecannon.ca and a deal was reached last minute after a strike deadline was pushed back a day so that a provincial mediator could help both sides reach a deal. Not to get your hopes up or anything. It's also worth pointing out that this happened in February 2007, as in during the school year. Obviously the tremendous lobby that is the University of Guelph student users of transit can't be used as leverage in July.
Look for updates here or on my Twitter feed as news about the lockout breaks.