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Uniforms back on as bus driver union, OC Transpo agree to meet to discuss 'multitude of issues'

Just hours after the head of the union representing OC Transpo drivers asked them not to wear their uniforms to work as a protest against management, Clint Crabtree says he's rescinded the request after getting a commitment from OC Transpo that changes are coming.

Crabtree, the president of the Amalgamated Transit Union 270, said a meeting is set for Friday morning to discuss a "multitude of issues that we are going to tackle head on."

In a memo to drivers Wednesday night Crabtree had told them "We need to stand together united, to fix all of the working conditions and the toxic work environment that exists today."

Some riders told CTV News Ottawa their drivers were wearing jeans in place of a uniform Thursday morning while others were still in company-issued clothing.

Crabtree said other issues include "unjustified discipline, layoffs" and "bus scheduling that is unrealistic and puts all operators' safety in jeopardy." He says there have been a number of resignations due to work-life balance issues.

In a statement OC Transpo General Manager Renée Amilcar said “OC Transpo is committed to fostering a workplace culture built on strong, open communication with our employees. The management team meets regularly with the unions, to receive feedback from employees and find constructive solutions. This relationship is important to continue to grow a healthy workplace and is why we continue to work collaboratively together."

Crabtree says the public is the number one priority.

"If it comes to re-deploying routes to the routes that need it and the routes that are not being used and utilized need to be redeployed to those routes that really need the service that’s what we need to do," says Crabtree. "We need to look at overall scheduling and we need to improve it so that the public has reliable transit. If they have reliable transit they’re happy our members are happy everyone is happy everyone is satisfied." Top Stories

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