Monday, May 27, 2024

Transit union slams OC Transpo for job cuts

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The union that represents Canadian transportation workers is criticizing the recent job cuts at the city’s transit service.

On Tuesday, OC Transpo handed 25 union workers pink slips, some with upwards of 20 years of service, according to the union.

“It’s a dark day for our members who have been affected with a lot of unanswered questions,” said ATU Local 1760 president Jamie Larkin. “We are a small Local and these cuts dig deep into our membership. This really feels like a big slap in the face.”

The transit’s managing director Renée Amilcar blamed revenue shortfalls and declining ridership for the cuts.

The union fired back, saying that the transit system didn’t eliminate the jobs but put the duties on remaining staff.

“This is not a time for staff cuts and service reduction, but rather a time when agencies need to invest in expanding the system, improving the customer experience to attract new riders, and continue building for the future,” said ATU president John Costa.

OC Transpo is currently facing a nearly $50-million deficit, according to Amilcar.

In addition to the recent firings, they’re also planning to axe many of the 200-series routes between residential neighbourhoods and O-Train stations. Bus routes through residential streets with low ridership are also expected to be changed, reducing service across the city by 3.5 per cent.

ATU Local 1760 represents around 350 OC Transpo frontline and administrative workers.

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