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We will not break: Cornellier

Not one member among the 2,300 striking OC Transpo employees will go back to work without everybody going in, said union president Andre Cornellier.

Not one member among the 2,300 striking OC Transpo employees will go back to work without everybody going in, said union president Andre Cornellier.

On the weekend, city council requested that mechanics be allowed to return to get buses ready to run when the strike finally ends.

Yesterday, at a rally on the ATU picket line in front of the OC Transpo headquarters, Cornellier said the union would not play along with the city’s attempt to “divide and conquer.”

“To suggest that we are going to let mechanics cross our own picket line is unbelievable.

They want us to bust our own union,” he said.

Alain Mercier, the general manager of OC Transpo, suggested they may have to lay off around 500 workers during the first few weeks when service resumes, because there will not be enough road-ready buses for them to drive.

ATU International vice-president Randy Graham told those gathered not to be bothered by those comments.

“The idea that people will be laid off because you are on strike, they should be ashamed of themselves,” he said. “The tactics used in this strike are unbelievable.”

Graham accused OC Transpo of mismanagement for having so many buses out of service before the strike.

Canadian Union of Public Employees joined striking OC Transpo employees on the picket lines for a day of solidarity yesterday.

CUPE national president Paul Moist presented Cornellier with a cheque for $5,000 to go toward the ATU strike fund and called on the city to get back to the table and deal with the union bargaining committee.

“We want a better working life in Ottawa, not a worse one,” Moist said. “If Larry O’Brien thinks we’re going to turn the clock back on 100 years of collective bargaining, he’s wrong.”

 
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