Hamilton transit strike ends with Sunday's Grey Cup game looming

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Talk about a last-minute touchdown.

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Steeltown’s transit service will resume normal operations Friday morning after Hamilton Street Railway and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 107 reached a deal early Thursday to end a weeklong strike ahead of Sunday’s Grey Cup game.

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Details of the agreement were not shared by the union or the city.

ATU says the agreement must be presented to its membership at a ratification meeting as soon as possible.

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“Our members must be given a minimum of 48 hours to review the offer before a ratification vote can be held,” ATU Local 107 President Eric Tuck said. “I am extremely proud of our negotiating team and the rank-and-file membership for staying unified throughout this dispute.”

More than 800 Hamilton transit workers walked off the job on Nov. 9 with their chief demands including wage increases, reliable bathroom breaks and improved facilities.

The strike came days before events kick off for Sunday’s Canadian Football League championship game between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Montreal Alouettes at Tim Hortons Field, which is hemmed in by the city’s main east-west transit corridor.

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The city said mechanics were back on the job Thursday morning at the Mountain Transit Centre preparing buses for Friday, when administrative and operations staff are scheduled to return to work.

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“I’m thrilled to have a tentative deal with the ATU Local 107 in place and to let our community members know HSR bus operators will be back on the road on Friday doing their critical work moving our city,” Hamilton Mayor Andrea Horwath said. “I’m excited for our workers to be back and I’m grateful to the public for their patience.”

The HSR will operate the black, gold, red and white shuttle routes as part of Grey Cup festivities with details available at www.GreyCupFestival.ca.

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