TTC postpones weekend subway closure amid dispute with union

A dispute with the union has forced the TTC to postpone a subway closure on Line 1 this weekend.

They had scheduled the closure between Lawrence West and Sheppard West stations to do signal upgrades. The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 recently decided not to extend an agreement that allows its members to work overtime, up to 64 hours per week. Without the overtime hours, TTC spokesperson Brad Ross says they wouldn't have enough operators to run shuttle buses during the subway closure.

"We're not going to shut the subway down to do maintenance work if we don't have shuttle buses to get people to where they need to go," he says.

There is another closure planned for next weekend, and it is unclear whether it will be able to go ahead.

"We have one weekend closure that's been cancelled," Ross says. "We will probably have more, to be frank."

Ross says they are looking at the schedule moving forward to find new dates for the work that is being postponed. He insists, though, that at this point it is not affecting the long-term signal upgrade work on Line 1, which is scheduled to take two to three years to complete.

"This is a long-term project. We will have a brand new signalling system into 2020, early 2021, when it's fully in place on Line 1," Ross says.

The union says it made the decision to cut overtime hours because the TTC is leaving unfilled positions vacant, while Ross argues that they are constantly hiring. ​