ATU Canada Local 113 Loses Court Battle on Vaccine Mandate

ATU Local 113 'disappointed' after court rejects suspension of TTC's vaccine mandate

The union said this was not about the mandates but about saving jobs

ATU Local 113 'disappointed' after court rejects suspension of TTC's vaccine mandate
BY Dexter Tilo 22 Nov 2021

The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 (ATU Local 113) has expressed their disappointment after the Ontario Superior Court of Justice denied their request to suspend the COVID-19 vaccine mandate of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). TTC's vaccine mandate places unvaccinated workers and those who refused to disclose their status on unpaid leave. In their application to court, the ATU Local 113 requested that the policy, which took effect on Sunday, be paused for 60 days.

However, the court moved to deny the request after the union failed to prove that not granting an injunction would cause harm to members, Toronto Star reported. It also found that the TTC would face more repercussions if the injunction was approved. The ATU Local 113, which represents 12,000 workers, expressed on Facebook its disappointment over decision, adding that TTC's mandate is unfair.

"We are very disappointed with the Court's decision to deny our request to suspend operation of the TTC's mandatory vaccination policy," union president Carlos Santos said. "We believe the TTC's policy of suspending and terminating unvaccinated workers is unfair and will be struck down at arbitration. This fight has never been about vaccinations, but rather about defending rights and saving jobs while still protecting public health.”

According to the union, the TTC could provide other alternatives for those who are unvaccinated such as regular testing, a move it said is already implemented at the Mississauga Transit and Brampton Transit. Santos vowed to find "all available" options for members to stay protected from said mandates.

"ATU Local 113’s first priority is and always will be protecting our members’ rights and their health and safety. We will explore all available options to defend our members from unreasonable and unfair policies, and discipline imposed without just cause."

Read more: Most Canadians want unvaccinated workers fired: poll

TTC's comment

Meanwhile, the TTC in thanked the workers who have complied with its policy.

"I want to thank all the employees who have complied with the Policy and I want to thank all our customers for their support. Together we will get through this," said TTC chief executive officer Rick Leary.

Leary defended the mandate as one of the company's steps to ensure the safety of staff and customers.

"We know that getting vaccinated is one of the most important things that people can do to put the pandemic behind us. As an essential service, we need the TTC to be a safe place for everyone," said Leary.

The TTC on Sunday said 92% of the company's 15,061 active employees have disclosed their vaccination status.