You are here

GRT Transit Strike

On Tuesday, January 21, members of Unifor Local 4304, Grand River Transit, initiated strike action.

Local 4304 represents approximately 730 drivers, mechanics, vehicle service attendants and dispatchers at GRT.

Throughout the negotiations, the bargaining committee has reflected member’s demands to the employer, including improvements on driver safety, and end to heavy-handed, excessive discipline and unfettered use of video surveillance, and wages.

Members can check back here for updates throughout the dispute.

Campaign Update

Union and employer heading back to the table

1/21/2020 -


I’m writing to update on the first day of our unit’s first strike.

Job action is a difficult decision, and is always a last resort, but you have shown solidarity and dedication to our collective fight for a fair contract.

Before the legal strike began at 12:01 am Tuesday morning, your bargaining committee passed the employer a list of requirements that could have been met to avert the strike. The employer did not provide an offer to address those issues before our deadline.

This afternoon, we invited the employer back to the bargaining table for talks beginning Wednesday, January 22 at 11:00 am, with a request that Karen Redmen, Waterloo Regional Chair and Mike Murray, Waterloo Regional Chief Administrative Officer be present.

The employer agreed to meet with the union at that time, but declined the request to have those key decision-makers present. While we are concerned that the absence of these players may delay a speedy resolution, your bargaining committee agreed to the meeting with the full intention of reaching a fair collective agreement.  

As we look to our second day on the picket lines, I want to thank you for your solidarity and dedication to improving the working conditions of all GRT workers.

We will continue to push the employer to address driver safety, unjust and heavy-handed discipline, and the unfettered use of video-surveillance. Our collective goal is to reach a fair collective agreement that will make our jobs safer, less stressful and that will improve our transit system for everyone.

Your bargaining committee will continue to update on the status of negotiations.

In solidarity,

Tim Jewell

President, Unifor Local 4304

Unifor members set to strike at GRT

1/19/2020 -

KITCHENER – Unifor Local 4304 members working at Grand River Transit are preparing to begin strike action after rejecting the tentative agreement negotiated with the transit service last week.

“The membership has made a very strong statement today that GRT must do better at the bargaining table,” said Local 4304 Local President Tim Jewell.

The rejection of the collective agreement now puts the bargaining unit in a legal strike position.   The strike will commence officially as of Tuesday morning. Buses will continue to run until the end of normal service on Monday.

Negotiations concluded on January 13 with a tentative agreement reached shortly before the old collective agreement was set to expire at midnight. That agreement was turned down by Local 4304 members at GRT at ratifications votes held today.

Local 4304, which represents drivers, mechanics, vehicle service attendants and dispatchers at GRT, will work quickly to set up bargaining dates with the employer to work through the remaining issues. No details of the tentative agreement will be released.

Media inquiries call Unifor Communications Representative Sarah McCue at or (416) 458-3307.