Bus service in Waterloo ground to a halt Monday after union staff were unable to reach an agreement with the city. As of May 1, all Grand River Transit (GRT) buses and MobilityPLUS buses will cease operation and customer service centres will remain closed.
Unifor local 4304 represents GRT operators, reservationists, fleet mechanics, and service attendants.
ION trains are not operated by GRT and will continue to run throughout the strike.
On Saturday afternoon, the Region of Waterloo posted on its website saying a tentative agreement had been reached with Unifor; however, it was not ratified by midnight on Sunday and bus service was suspended at 3:00 a.m.
“Despite an offer that was competitive for GRT staff and affordable for residents, unfortunately, we were not able to reach an agreement,” the Region of Waterloo said in a media release. “The region is committed to reaching an agreement and we remain open to discussions with the union.”
In an email to Imprint, Local 4304 president Brendan Burke said there are not any bargaining meetings scheduled, but the union is willing to talk any time.
“Scheduling, work-life balance, and wages are the major issues,” he said. “We are looking to resolve this as quickly as possible in order to continue to serve the public.”
In a statement on its website, GRT said, “Transit customers are encouraged to plan ahead, find alternative transportation options, and make careful decisions around fare purchasing.”