CAW Durham Transit Strike Talks Resume
October 26, 2006
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The solidarity of hundreds of CAW members, who filled Durham Regional Council Chambers in Whitby, Ontario Wednesday, Oct 25, ended with Council voting unanimously to resume bargaining with CAW Local 222 transit workers.
The 300 drivers, clerks, maintenance and specialized workers have been on strike since October 5th.
Local 222 president, Chris Buckley, said the union is ready to return to the bargaining table.
Pres. CAW Local 222
"We're willing to make some movement on our side. But again, bargaining is a two way street. They have given us no indication since May 31st that they are willing to negotiate. If they are willing to negotiate we could have had this resolved during the summer time when the ridership was down. They didn't want to bargain since July 14th. It was July14th they hit us with their final offer, which was not acceptable. We have been prepared to bargain, it is the region that has not."
At a rally before the vote, bargaining chair, John Johnson, said the transit commission's final offer in July rejected the union's basic demands.
Local 222 Transit Unit Bargaining Chair
"We've got contracting out; we've got part time work, our benefits, retiree benefits, union recognition. They are still extremely upset that the CAW won the certification vote through the amalgamation process."
Mike Reuter, CAW national rep. said the workers are determined to win this strike.
CAW National Rep.
"I understand that there are some councillors saying that we're going to be out there and we can rot while we are out there. The one message I would like to give to the membership. One Day Longer. We'll be there one day longer than them."
With the council decision to return to bargaining, the union is now cautiously optimistic that the membership will soon be back on the job.
CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."