TTC union calls on employees to follow vaccine mandate

The TTC has accused its largest union of employees of illegal strike action for opposing the transit agency’s vaccine disclosure mandate.


The TTC has accused its largest union of employees of illegal strike action for opposing the transit agency’s vaccine disclosure mandate.

The Toronto Star is reporting that the TTC filed an application with the Ontario Labour Relations Board on Tuesday afternoon, saying Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 violated labour laws by directing its members to not share their vaccination status with management.

The application claims that the directive from the union is illegal and interferes with the TTC’s ability to “manage the public transportation system in a safe manner.”


The transit commission says that only 56 per cent of their employees have disclosed their vaccination status. By comparison, Metrolinx says 94 per cent of staff have provided their vaccination status to the company.

ATU Local 113 represents around 12,000 employees. The union is also calling for the resignation of TTC CEO Rick Leary.

“Since this pandemic began, the top priority of ATU Local 113 has been the health and safety of our members. Unfortunately, we have not seen the same approach taken by the TTC,” said Carlos Santos, President of ATU Local 113.

“At a time when the TTC needed strong leadership, TTC CEO Rick Leary has failed repeatedly to share vital information and negotiate in good faith with us. ATU Local 113 believes in working together to address the many challenges transit in Toronto is facing. Sadly, on a range of issues, including vaccination, Mr. Leary has shown us that he does not feel the same.”

Santos says he and the Executive Board of ATU Local 113 are asking that on or before September 30th, members comply with the vaccination status disclosure set out in the TTC’s policy.

The vaccine mandate was put in place on Sept. 7th, calling on all employees to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 30.

Metrolinx says their final mandatory vaccination policy has been distributed to all employees. The crown agency says any staff who do not provide proof of vaccination by Nov. 1 will be placed on unpaid leave.

The company says employees who were not vaccinated by Sept. 21 are required to participate in a vaccination education session. The policy applies to all staff as well as any contractors or visitors to Metrolinx sites.

Of the 94 per cent of Metrolinx staff that have disclosed their vaccination status to the company, only four per cent are not yet fully vaccinated.

The mandates from the TTC and Metrolinx followed a similar mandate from the City of Toronto that made vaccinations mandatory for all municipal employees.

Both the city and the TTC said employees would be exempt from the vaccine policy if they could provide proof of a medical reason for not being immunized.

“I believe that every individual has the inherent right to determine their own medical treatment. This is reflected in the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Health Care Consent Act and protected by the Charter,” Santos added.

“I also believe that we have a responsibility to support and protect each other and to the public – and to work together to resolve conflict.”

The ATU Local 113 President says the last 18 months have often been “chilling” for TTC employees.

“Those members deserve respect, information and fairness from their employer. I believe these issues can be resolved through open, honest dialogue,” he said.

“I call upon the TTC to abandon their strategy of confrontation and work collaboratively with us to find solutions that work for our members and work for Toronto.”

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