Protestors took to the streets of Toronto this afternoon, four weeks into the ongoing DriveTest strike. Members of USW Local 9511 said negotiations ended Sunday night between DriveTest and the union with no progress made.
TORONTO, Ont. — DriveTest employees staged a major rally in downtown Toronto this afternoon, attracting 15 transports trucks, 50 driving schools, and about 120 union members.
Honking horns and protestors’ shouts could be heard outside Serco headquarters, the UK-based business services company that currently owns DriveTest, during the peaceful two-hour protest.
Driver examiners in Ontario walked off the job about four weeks ago, after an agreement could not be reached between DriveTest and USW Local 9511 members.
“We are determined to win collective agreement language that gives us greater protections and a fairer system for lay-off and recall,” said James Young, president of USW Local 9511 in a statement. “Our members work very hard to provide great service to the general public and in return we expect some dignity, respect and some basic job protections.”
Protestors told trucknews.com that no Serco employee came down to speak with workers during the protest.
Soon after the strike began, the province of Ontario extended the expiration dates of driver’s licences, while DriveTest announced that road tests could be rescheduled without a charge upon the resumption of services.
Many training schools in Ontario have been struggling because of the strike, such as Caledonia-based KRTS Transportation Specialists, which announced it could layoff 50-60% of its truck training division staff if the strike is not resolved shortly.
“We have heard the dissatisfaction of the DriveTest examiners first-hand since Serco took over the road testing in the province,” said KRTS president, Kim Richardson.
Protestors told trucknews.com that another rally is planned for next week at Queen’s Park.
For a full report on the protest, watch next week’s episode of Transportation Matters in our Multimedia Centre.
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