Calgary's transit strike is over

Calgary city council has unanimiously approved a negotiated settlement this afternoon which ends the transit strike.

Fifty days after transit drivers and mechanics went on strike, C-trains have started to roll again on city streets.

On Wednesday night the transit union ratified a new contract with the city. The deal ends the longest transit strike in Calgary's history.

There were plenty of hoots, hollers, hugs and handshakes at the Jubilee Auditorium in Calgary Wednesday night when the Amalgamated Transit Union membership overwhelmingly accepted a contract from the city.

When union president Dean McKerness was asked for his reaction to the agreement he said, "It was fantastic. It was a good feeling to be able to come back to them and say this is what you fought for; this is what you gained; here it is. ... And how did they respond? ... an ovation that was pretty loud."

Calgary mayor Al Duerr is also happy that both sides have settled. "Without question there was a huge sigh of relief in my office when the news came out that all indications were that there was going to be a resounding support for this agreement. Now the challenge is to get on with it."

Both Duerr and McKerness credit the involvement of the president of the international transit union from Washington D.C. for engineering the deal. It includes a 10% wage hike over three years and a compromise about shuttle bus growth.

This Thursday it's likely only the three skeleton routes will be running but with union drivers. Full schedules on all bus routes and on the C-Train will be back to normal by Monday.