City hopeful mediator will end impasse in transit union negotiations

The Manitoba Labour Board will soon sit with the City of Winnipeg and the union for Winnipeg Transit drivers to mediate a months-long labour dispute even though the city raised fears of a strike after declaring an impasse in negotiations Monday.The mediation sessions are scheduled for Aug. 1 and 2 and will be non-binding.Spokespeople for the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1505 and the City of Winnipeg said both organizations are intent on further negotiation.Story continues below“On Tuesday, the labour board approached both parties with an offer to mediate future negotiations, which has meant that the impasse declared by the city is now lifted,” reads an emailed statement from ATU communications director Zach Fleisher.“As the ATU strongly believes in returning to the table with the city, we agreed to accept their change in position and the opportunity to return to the table.”READ MORE: Winnipeg Transit Union to ban voluntary overtime as fight for new contract continues“We will make every reasonable effort to successfully negotiate an agreement, and are hopeful that a mediator might compel ATU to provide us with a reasonable counter proposal,” an emailed statement from city communications director Felicia Wiltshire reads.The city’s latest offer to the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1505, made July 3, was rejected last Thursday. That was the third offer since negotiations began.The city declared the negotiations at an impasse in a news release Monday, with Mayor Brian Bowman later tweeting that a September transit strike “is more likely than ever.”The union has filed two labour board complaints over the course of the seven month negotiation.Fleisher disputed claims the union might strike in September.READ MORE: Transit union, City of Winnipeg come to impasse over contract negotiations“Despite threats to the contrary, the ATU does not want to see any disruption in service and looks forward to future negotiations with the city,” his statement reads.The city is holding its position that the union is planning a strike action.“We feel that ATU has made it abundantly clear that they have no interest in obtaining a negotiated settlement, and continue to feel that ATU is planning to initiate a strike in September when it will be most disruptive to passengers and residents,” Wiltshire’s statement reads.The union’s more than 1,400 Winnipeg Transit operators and maintenance workers have been without a contract since the previous one expired Jan. 12.RELATED VIDEO: Winnipeg Transit Union to ban voluntary overtime View original article here Source

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