Saskatoon

Mayor Don Atchison speaks out on Saskatoon transit lockout

Mayor Don Atchison tells Saskatoon Morning there will be no political intervention in the four-week-old transit lockout.

Council sets parameters, administration must close deal

Atchison in the studio for Saskatoon Morning. (Dan Zakreski/CBC)

Saskatoon's mayor says not to expect a political fix to the four-week-old transit lockout.

Mayor Don Atchison told Saskatoon Morning that it's up to the administration and the negotiating team to get a contract signed. To have the mayor or councillors entering the fray at this point would only muddy the waters and send the wrong message.

"We give direction. We don't get involved in negotiations."

It sounds like somebody saying they're slightly pregnant. You're either in a lockout, or you're not.- Mayor Don Atchison

At the same time, Atchison said better a lockout now – than a strike in the dead of winter.

"The union voted 91 per cent in favour of a strike action, and that's with a 48 hour notice," he said.

"We just didn't want this to happen when it's 40 below."

Neither side is talking right now. Atchison said the ruling by the province's Labour Relations Board is the best bet at breaking the impasse. Whatever the ruling, "each side can take a step back, analyze their position and get back to the table and get a contract signed."

Atchison dismissed a proposal by councillor Darren Hill to offer some sort of scaled down bus service on major routes during the lockout.

"It sounds like somebody saying they're slightly pregnant," he said.

"You're either in a lockout, or you're not."

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