Transit strike averted at Canadian GP

MONTREAL, CANADA (by motorsport.com) -- Ending weeks of concern about public transportation at the Canadian Grand Prix, the members of the Syndicat de Transport de Montreal (STM) voted to accept a last-minute deal negotiated on Sunday by the ...

MONTREAL, CANADA (by motorsport.com) -- Ending weeks of concern about public transportation at the Canadian Grand Prix, the members of the Syndicat de Transport de Montreal (STM) voted to accept a last-minute deal negotiated on Sunday by the union and the MUCTC (Montreal Urban Community Transit Commission).

The strike had threatened access to Grand Prix circuit, located on Ile Notre-Dame in the middle of the St. Lawrence Seaway. The island does not have capacity for large-scale automobile access, and each year, the hundreds of thousands of race fans rely on the Metro to get to and from the track.

The dispute had arisen from the surplus in the transit commission's pension fund: with the surplus, MUCTC decided to stop paying its annual contributions to the fund until the fund's surplus would drop below its legal maximum, and, instead, use the funds for transit system improvements. However, the union insisted on using the surplus to improve the retirement funds.

In the compromise solution negotiated on the weekend, under the Quebec provincial government's threat to declare public transit an essential service during the Grand Prix weekend -- and thus prohibit the strike -- the transit commission gets a 30-month reprieve from pension contributions, but the workers get, in turn, a two% raise in the first year, and 3% in each of the following two years.

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Series Formula 1