Hamilton Mayor Issues Statement on Transit Strike
Hamilton’s mayor has issued a statement saying the City is ready to go back to the bargaining table with striking transit workers.
Nearly 900 ATU local 107 workers walked off the job last Thursday as they look for a new contract.
In her statement, Andrea Horwath said the City’s bargaining team has reached out to the union three times since the strike began, including yesterday, but the union has refused the offer.
Her statement said the City’s offer to transit workers included a wage increase of 12.75 percent over four years, a number reached with other bargaining units — she says a wage increase higher than that would be unfair to Hamilton’s other unions and to the people of Hamilton.
Full Statement from Mayor Andrea Horwath:
“We appreciate and respect our transit workers, and we want them back on the job. Not just so we can resume the daily transit service people need, but because we want them to feel valued, supported and heard.
To end this disruption and find a resolution that works for union members and all of Hamilton, the City’s bargaining team has reached out to ATU Local 107 three times since the strike began last Thursday, including today. Three times union leadership has refused to return to the bargaining table with us. That does a disservice to our city, and to the individuals on the picket lines who want us all working hard on their behalf.
The City’s offer to transit workers included a wage increase of 12.75 percent over four years. That increase helps address the rising cost of living and is the exact same increase that has been accepted by the City’s over 3,200 CUPE members, as well as unionized employees in other jurisdictions who have recently ended their strikes as recently as this week.
A wage increase higher than that would be unfair to Hamilton’s other unions and to the people of Hamilton, whose transit fares and property taxes would go up as a result, at a time that’s financially difficult for people. That fact won’t change before or after the Grey Cup is played in our great city. It doesn’t mean we have nothing to talk about.
The bargaining table is where both sides can discuss working conditions, benefits and other measures that demonstrate the City’s commitment to its workers and their wellbeing. But we can’t sit there alone.”