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TTC STRIKE: Workers to be ordered back: Miller

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A developing story in the Globe and Mail says Mayor David Miller has secured an agreement with the province to get the TTC back to work.

A visibly angry David Miller said he has secured an agreement with the province to bring in back-to-work legislation as soon as possible after thousands of transit riders found themselves stranded Saturday morning when TTC workers went out on strike.

Subways, streetcars and buses ground to a halt at midnight.

The mayor told a late night, hurriedly arranged press conference at city hall that the union’s decision to walk out after the failing to ratify a tentative agreement, and abandon an earlier pledge to give Torontonians 48-hours notice of any strike, was “unacceptable” and “irresponsible.”

He said he had demanded in a phone conversation with union leader Bob Kinnear that he give 48 hours notice, but Mr. Kinnear refused.

“We’ve got people downtown tonight who might have relied on public transit. How are they going to get home?” Mr. Miller asked.

In a statement e-mailed to The Globe and Mail, Premier Dalton McGuinty said he will “proceed with back to work legislation at the first available opportunity to end service disruption with the TTC.”

It was unclear whether the legislation — which would require all-party approval to pass quickly — could be passed in an emergency session of the legislature tomorrow. City hall sources suggested this was possible.

Mr. Miller also said he would be reconsidering his opposition to the idea of having the province declare the TTC an essential service, like police or firefighters, to take away the union’s right to strike permanently.

commentary from transit advocate Steve Munro
• Globe and Mail blog coverage
• Toronto Star coverage
• National Post coverage
• Toronto Sun coverage
• Torontoist coverage
• Blog TO coverage



  1. How could we not know that a strike was coming. The signs have been there all week about the dis-satisfaction by maintenance workers.

    Questions arise:
    Should there not have been more engagement by City Hall in the earlier discussion?
    If there was, would they not have noticed the problem, as reported, regarding contracting out?
    Why would be blame the union for less than 48 hours notice — that commitment was made the first time out -not this time. Isn’t it unrealistic for those who refused to be at the table the first time around to want it now?

    I am disappointed for workers who are affected by loss of service. I am even more disappointed by the smugness of politicians who refuse to roll up their sleeves.

    As for those claiming betrayal by the union — why weren’t they at the table?

  2. Grace, that’s a ridiculous way of looking at “city hall’s” obligations. The TTC negotiated a settlement with the union. Most would think that the union has its fingers on the pulse of its membership and would only recommend a contract to its members if the leadership thought the members would accept it. So what else should the politicians have done?

  3. As much as I do disagree with the TTC union, I don’t like back-to-work legislation either. Forcing somebody to work when they have said they won’t is immoral. (exception: if you knew that was a condition when you signed up, eg military)