Riders suffer as TTC enforces its COVID vaccine mandate on workers

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Monday marks the first workday of service cuts resulting from the TTC enforcing its COVID vaccine mandate on employees.

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“As a result of operator workforce shortages, Line 2 Bloor-Danforth, one streetcar route, and 57 bus routes will experience temporary service reductions and/or period of service suspensions. Provisions have been made to protect service on the busiest corridors in the system during the busiest periods. November schedules will continue into December, with some minor adjustments,” explained a release from the transit agency.

The TTC mandated that employees who were unvaccinated — or who have not declared their vaccine status — by a Nov. 20 deadline have now been placed on unpaid leave.

Carlos Santos, president of Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 113, which represents nearly  12,000 TTC workers, called the TTC’s actions an “insult” to his members.

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“Instead of looking to fire over 1,200 workers and cutting service, the TTC should offer regular rapid testing to the small percentage of workers who do not wish to receive the vaccine,” he insisted. “This has proven to work with Brampton and Mississauga’s transit systems. Why not Toronto’s as well? It is common sense.”

Santos argued that the TTC opted to “bulldoze their mandatory vaccination policy through and cause a staff shortage, which they now use to justify their cuts to service.

“By forcing workers out of their jobs and earnings, and cutting service to 57 Toronto routes, the TTC has hurt riders and workers alike during Toronto’s economic recovery and in the lead up to the holiday season.”

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The advocacy group TTCriders lauded the TTC’s efforts to ensure its employees are vaccinated against COVID but condemned the service cuts.

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“TTCriders supports mandatory vaccination of TTC staff because it will keep riders and workers safe. We all have a collective responsibility to protect each other by getting vaccinated and wearing a mask, whether we are transit riders or workers,” TTCriders said in a release.

  1. A TTC bus exits the Victoria Park subway station on Tuesday, November 16, 2021.

    TTC union unhappy court hasn’t suspended mandatory vaccination

  2. Buses wait to go into service at the Comstock TTC yards.

    TTC rolling out service cuts as it faces vax-related staff shortage

  3. A TTC bus exits the Victoria Park subway station on Tuesday, November 16, 2021.

    TTC and union gear up for vaccine battle in court

“TTC service cuts are unacceptable. The TTC and all levels of government must take immediate steps to ensure that sufficient operations funding is available to hire more operators and prevent cuts. Other transit agencies have avoided service cuts while implementing vaccine mandates.”

A complete list of shortages is on the TTC website .

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