Over half of the leadership team that makes up the Toronto Transit Commission local union has been reinstated by their parent U.S.-based Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU).
The ATU had placed the Local 113 in a trusteeship Friday, relieving union president Bob Kinnear and 16 board members of their duties. This comes days after Kinnear filed an application with the Canadian Labour Congress to have them come in and investigate if the ATU is representing them properly.
The ATU then put former Local 113 vice president and current international vice president Manny Sforza in charge, and he in turn reinstated 10 of the 17 members.
Sforza said that the board had never been consulted by Kinnear and that the topic of changing unions was never discussed.
“There was never an opportunity to vote on it. Most importantly, the membership, the 10,000 members that govern this local didn’t have a say on it,” Sforza said to Global News.
“And this isn’t the first time that Bob Kinnear has created a divide and broken the general rules.”
Three of the top five senior officers of the executive board have been reinstated. And through meetings and interviews with the other members, Sforza felt “comfortable” that he could reinstate 10 in total.
Sforza emphasized that the ATU reached out to all board members who had been dismissed. Two were not available to come in but Sforza said they are “making arrangements to talk.”
Sforza adds that he does not know why the remaining members haven’t come to the office.
“I just want to stress to all 10,000 ATU members out there of Local 113, that the Local is up and operating and functioning. The executive board is behind this, they’re behind me. They’re working with me and we’ve got to move forward through this.”
A statement released by the TTC Friday said the union dispute is “unrelated to TTC management or decisions of TTC management” and that they are working to ensure there is no impact to transit users in the city.
The TTC further said the collective agreements between the transit commission and its unions remain in place.
ATU Local 113 represents nearly 11,000 transit employees in Toronto.
With files from David Shum and Nick Westoll