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Windsor transit union to hold news conference Tuesday as riders prepare for possible strike

The collective agreement with the city and ATU local 161 expired in late 2023. (Chris Ensing/CBC - image credit)
The collective agreement with the city and ATU local 161 expired in late 2023. (Chris Ensing/CBC - image credit)

The union representing Transit Windsor workers will hold a news conference at noon on Tuesday to discuss pending strike action.

Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 616 issued a 72-hour strike notice on Thursday, but it announced Sunday that it had decided to temporarily delay the strike for a few days to continue bargaining.

Nonetheless, "there are still many obstacles, and Transit Windsor will have to significantly improve their offer – or there will be a strike," the union said in a notice to media on Monday.

Local 616, which represents almost 300 Transit Windsor workers, says sticking points include pay and sick leave.

St. Clair College officials say they intend to deal with a possible strike by offering $275 bursaries to students who hold valid Saints bus passes to help them pay for alternate travel arrangements such as taxis and ride shares.

St. Clair College spokesman John Fairley said that the college will offer bursaries to student bus pass holders in the event of a Transit Windsor strike to help them pay for alternate transportation.
St. Clair College spokesman John Fairley said that the college will offer bursaries to student bus pass holders in the event of a Transit Windsor strike to help them pay for alternate transportation.

St. Clair College spokesman John Fairley said that the college will offer bursaries to student bus pass holders in the event of a Transit Windsor strike to help them pay for alternate transportation. (Dalson Chen/CBC)

"We respect the negotiating process that's on right now between the union and the city, but what do we do?" asked John Fairley, the college's vice president of college communications and community relations.

"We've encouraged transit, transit and more transit, so when that goes down, I think it's going to have an effect."

The college has worked with its facilities and securities teams to plan for increased vehicle traffic in the event of a strike, Fairley said.

The South Windsor Campus bus loop would serve as a drop-off area for cars, and one of the parking lots would be used as a ride-share drop-off location, he said.

The student government is establishing its own carpool system too, he added.