ATU Local 1587 goes on strike; halts Ontario GO Bus service

Nov. 8, 2022
The primary issue in negotiations concerns contracted work with union representatives wanting additional protections in place to preserve worker job security.

Go Bus service across Ontario was suspended Nov. 7 after the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), Local 1587 initiated a strike. ATU Local 1587 represents 2,200 station attendants, bus operators, maintenance workers, transit safety officers and office professionals at Metrolinx.

A strike was initially slated to begin on Oct. 31, with the union postponing picketing to consider and vote on a late offer from Metrolinx that 81 percent of members voted against.

Metrolinx posted a service update and noted its disappointment in the action.

The strike does not impact Go Trains or UP Express service.

ATU International President John Costa says the union uses a strike “only as a last resort,” recognizing the action does impact transit dependent riders.

“But Metrolinx has left us with no other option,” Costa said.

The main sticking point in negotiations is the use of contractors with ATU Local 1587, explaining Metrolinx refuses “to budge on language that would protect GO Transit jobs from being contracted out.”

“Protections against contracting out are imperative to ensure that experienced workers are on the job running GO Transit safely and efficiently,” said Local 1587 President Rob Cormier. “Without these protections, Metrolinx can contract to outside companies, which will hire inexperienced workers in precarious, non-union positions.

In a separate statement, he added the union is “committed to meeting with Metrolinx to reach a deal.”

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.