Next move rests with transit union: Mercier
Published Sunday, December 28, 2008 6:26PM EST
The head of OC Transpo believes the proverbial ball is in the union's court as to what happens next in the transit strike.
Alain Mercier said the phone line is open to resume negotiations, but the city has asked Labour Minister Rona Ambrose to order the Amalgamated Transit Union to let workers vote on the latest contract offer.
Union President Andr� Cornellier said he would not schedule a vote on the offer, saying it would divide his members.
The ATU has until Tuesday to make its own response to Ambrose on the city's request. The city can then reply if it wishes before the federal minister makes a decision.
Transport Minister John Baird, the cabinet member responsible for Ottawa, is set to advise Ambrose to do whatever is necessary to find a resolution.
About 2,300 OC Transpo drivers, dispatchers, and mechanics walked off the job on Dec. 10 after working without a contract since April. Scheduling and wages have been the major barriers to a deal with the City of Ottawa.