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City reinstates two HSR drivers who were fired while on medical leave

As COVID-19 case numbers rise, the HSR is adjusting service levels to ensure it can continue offering consistent service to customers. Lisa Polewski / 900 CHML

Two Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) employees that were fired while on medical leave have been reinstated.

ATU Local 107 president Eric Tuck said he met with city officials this week to discuss the conditions by which it was decided that Steven Burke and Chris Markow were terminated last year.

“After seeing the documentation, we have a much better understanding of why that decision was made,” said Tuck in a release on Friday afternoon.

Read more: Union says two HSR employees ‘wrongfully terminated’ due to organ transplant complications

The union said “better communications” could have resulted in a “more agreeable outcome,” and that it’s now working with the city to do an independent medical review of both employees’ medical conditions while acknowledging how the pandemic has impacted them.

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It also said all parties involved agreed to a more “inclusive review process” in the future to ensure all relevant information is taken into account in similar circumstances.

Burke and Markow, both of whom have been on long-term disability for several years, had said the city cited “frustration of contract” as grounds to fire them last summer.

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