PRESS RELEASE - November 24, 2023

ATU 1505 Members Withhold Approval of Second Round Memorandum of Agreement

Winnipeg, November 24, 2023 - Following the completion of the second round of negotiations, the members of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1505 have chosen not to approve the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) put forth by the bargaining parties. The main point of contention has been the dissatisfaction with the current unsafe working conditions, feeling that compensation is not adequate for the increased risk that the job entails as well as no improvements to benefits has led to a decision to pursue further job actions.

Transit workers face a high risk on the job, especially during challenging times like a pandemic, and there is a concern that they are not always fairly compensated for the increased risk they undertake. The concern revolves around working conditions and safety, as there is a prevailing sentiment that the current management is not adequately addressing or taking seriously the employees' apprehensions in these areas. Adding to that, no benefit increases. As a result, the Union will be initiating a series of job actions to voice their concerns and advocate for improved compensation.

The initial step in this series of actions will involve a ban on voluntary overtime (OT). This is intended to send a clear message about the urgency and seriousness of the members' concerns. As the media has made the public aware, transit functions on a large portion of voluntary overtime, as the fleet is missing around 5% of operators to fully restore services to pre-pandemic levels. The high demand for overtime has caused undue stress on members and electing to end all voluntary overtime will send a clear message that the Union intends to bargain a fair deal. ATU Local 1505 has indicated that if their grievances are not adequately addressed, these actions may escalate to a full-scale strike.

Union representatives are committed to engaging in continued dialogue with the employer in the hopes of resolving the issues at hand. "In light of the membership's decision to reject the second Memorandum of Agreement, it is clear that employees are feeling undervalued, the lack of benefit improvements is deemed unsatisfactory, and the membership is simply dissatisfied with the current management inaction to secure a safe workplace.” Stated Chris Scott, President of ATU Local 1505.

The ATU 1505 will keep its members and the public informed as developments unfold. Further updates on the situation and any changes to the job action plan will be communicated promptly.

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