Union loses injunction to halt TTC’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy

Click to play video: 'Unvaccinated TTC workers placed on unpaid leave'
Unvaccinated TTC workers placed on unpaid leave
WATCH ABOVE: The deadline has come and gone for TTC workers to be fully vaccinated or to be placed on unpaid leave. It's a move that's been met with relentless pushback from the union representing thousands of workers. Brittany Rosen reports – Nov 21, 2021

The union representing thousands of TTC workers has lost its injunction to halt the transit agency’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.

Earlier this month, ATU Local 113 filed an application with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to pause the TTC from giving employees unpaid leave or termination notices until the dispute was ruled by an arbitrator.

The court had denied the union’s request Saturday.

Click to play video: 'TTC cuts service amid unvaccinated operators'
TTC cuts service amid unvaccinated operators

“We believe the TTC’s policy of suspending and terminating unvaccinated workers is unfair and will be struck down at arbitration. While I had hoped the Court would put a stop to this policy while we fought in arbitration, I am confident we will ultimately prevail,” Carlos Santos, president of ATU Local 113 said in a statement.

In an interview with Global News, Shabnum Durrani, head of corporate communications with the TTC, confirmed they will be moving ahead with their vaccination policy.

Employees were asked to disclose their vaccination status and be fully vaccinated by end of day Saturday.

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“So as of end of day today, if employees have not complied with the policy, they will be going on leave. And it is our hope that in the next six weeks that they will get vaccinated,” Durrani said.

The transit agency said if employees do not get vaccinated or disclose their status by Dec. 30, workers will face termination.

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More than 90 per cent of TTC employees have been fully vaccinated, Durrani said.

Santos said the transit agency could have implemented other solutions.

“Instead of firing workers, the TTC can keep our workplace safe by offering regular testing for the small percentage of workers who do not wish to receive the vaccine,” he said.

The TTC warned customers that due to a potential shortage of workers, there will be some services changes starting Nov. 21, which may be similar to seasonal adjustments made in the summer and December.

The agency reassured that these changes will only impact routes with low ridership and that their busiest routes will remain protected.

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