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Thunder Bay transit workers ratify new deal

A tentative deal for a new collective agreement has averted a threatened strike by Thunder Bay transit drivers and maintenance workers.

Transit workers vote 76 per cent in favour of new agreement

A tentative deal for a new collective agreement has averted a threatened strike by Thunder Bay transit drivers and maintenance workers.

The deal was negotiated Saturday morning after an all-night bargaining session assisted by a provincial conciliator.

Transit workers then ratified the new agreement at a meeting on Sunday afternoon, voting 76 per cent in favour of the deal.

Sheila Kivisto, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 966, told CBC News she's happy with the vote.

"It's a good number," said Kivisto.

"It shows that people were listening. There was some contention with some stuff, [but] it's a good number."

Sheila Kivisto, president of ATU local 966, said the 76 per cent vote in favour of the new deal is "a good number."

Kivisto said details of the contract are being withheld until Thunder Bay city council votes on it at Monday night's meeting.

"We just have to wait for city council to ratify, and then we're good to go," she said.

The union's 160 members were set to withdraw services on Monday if no deal was reached by the Saturday noon deadline imposed by the ATU

"We fought hard for this...we went back and forth literally all night...the last go-around was about five o'clock (Saturday morning)....we signed it at around seven o'clock," Kivisto said.

The ATU had been pushing for a wage increase that would put its members somewhere around the middle in terms of pay rates for transit employees around Ontario. 

Kivisto said this deal accomplishes that.

"I'm thinking they're probably in mid-range. They're gonna be doing much better," she said.

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