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Ontario Northland union meets with Gravelle

Ontario Northland workers are anxious about what a transformation of their workplace could look like.

Union members discuss the future of the ONTC with the minister on Monday

Ontario's minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle will meet with Unifor union representatives on Monday. Gravelle recently announced the province is looking at how it could transform the ONTC into a sustainable business. Divestment of the company still remains on the table, however. (Jody Porter/CBC)

Ontario Northland workers are anxious about what a transformation of their workplace. The 900 employees have been in limbo since the province announced it was divesting the northern transportation and telecommunications network.

On Dec. 2 the Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle stepped back from the provincial plan to divest the ONTC. He did not lay out a specific plan for what would happen next. 

Union members will have a chance to meet with Gravelle on Monday.

Many have expressed concern about the sale of Ontera, the corporation’s telecommunications arm.

“We have huge concerns about Ontera and where it is because it was the first one on the docket and there was a lot of rumblings about it,” said Brian Kelly, the president of the Unifor local that represents workers at Ontario Northland.

ONTC still provides bus service, freight rail and refurbishment, and telecommunications services.

No timeline has been set for making final decisions on the future of the ONTC.

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