Union says about 2,200 GO Transit workers to strike Monday morning after failing to reach a deal
Commuters across much of southern Ontario may find themselves scrambling for alternative means of transport after the union representing 2,200 GO Transit employees announced members would be walking off the job as of Monday morning.
The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1587 issued a statement on Sunday saying it was unable to secure a new contract with Metrolinx, the operator of the regional transport service covering much of the Greater Toronto and Golden Horseshoe areas.
The strike, which will involve bus operators, station attendants and other employees, is set to get underway at 12:01 a.m. on Monday. Metrolinx has previously indicated that bus service will be suspended if a strike takes place, though trains will remain in service.
ATU Local 1587 president Rob Cormier said bargaining talks broke down over safety concerns related to hiring contract workers from outside companies.
“Negotiations have failed because Metrolinx failed to come to the table with a reasonable offer to address any of our key issues,” he said in the union statement.
“Protections against contracting out are imperative to ensure that experienced workers are on the job running GO Transit safely and efficiently. Without these protections, Metrolinx can contract to outside companies which will hire inexperienced workers in precarious, non-union positions.”
Cormier confirmed to CBC News that the union had walked away from the bargaining table on Sunday.
Commuters urged to plan ahead, prepare for longer trips
Metrolinx issued a statement saying the union walked away from weekend negotiations and declined a request to return to the table on Monday.
Anne Marie Aikins, the company’s head of media and public relations, said the transit operator had been optimistic it could ink a new deal after proposing dozens of “enhancements” to the collective bargaining agreement.
Aikins acknowledged ATU’s concerns about contracting outside workers, but maintained the company has measures in place to ensure safety for all.
“For 22 years, we have had language in the agreement that protects the employment security of our ATU employees,” she said in a statement.
“This long-standing protection will continue to protect existing staff as well as new hires joining Metrolinx.”
The union representing GO bus drivers has announced they will be on strike as of 00:01 Nov 7. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/GObus?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#GObus</a> trips that begin before midnight Nov 6 will complete their trip. Trips starting after midnight Nov 7 will not operate. GO and UP trains will continue to run.
Aikins encouraged customers to plan ahead, prepare extra time for commutes and stay informed on strike developments through GO Transit’s website and social media accounts.
ATU has said negotiations with Metrolinx began in April and members have been working without a contract since June 1.
It said 81 per cent of members voted against a contract offer put forward by Metrolinx, a move Aikins has previously described as disappointing. She said Sunday the company remained “open to discussing ways forward” with the union.
The GO Transit strike comes three days after thousands of Ontario education workers represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees walked off the job indefinitely. ATU has said it supports those workers.
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Singapore’s Temasek cuts pay for senior management and investor team involved in FTX
Singapore state-owned investor Temasek cut the compensation of senior management and its investment team responsible for the recommendation to invest in failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
“Although there was no misconduct by the investment team in reaching their investment recommendation, the investment team and senior management, who are ultimately responsible for investment decisions made, took collective accountability and had their compensation reduced,” Chairman Lim Boon Heng said in a statement.
The move from Temasek comes after an internal review was launched to look into its investment into FTX, which resulted in a write-down of $275 million.
Lim added that there was fraudulent conduct by FTX “intentionally hidden from investors, including Temasek.” The statement did not specify how many staff were affected, nor the severity of the pay cuts.
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Fed’s Loretta Mester expects interest rates will have to rise
Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester told CNBC on Friday that she expects more interest rate increases will be needed as inflation stays elevated.
“When I look at the data and I look at what’s happening with the inflation numbers, I do think we’re going to have to tighten a bit more,” Mester said on “Squawk on the Street.” “We’ve made progress. Now it’s this calibration exercise, and that’s what’s difficult.”
Mester is a nonvoting member this year on the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee.
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Preferred Fed inflation gauge rises more than expected
The core personal consumption expenditures index, the Fed’s preferred gauge of inflation, rose 0.4% in April. That’s more than economists polled by Dow Jones expected. Year over year, core PCE rose 4.7%, also more than expected.
— Fred Imbert
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Markets now expecting Fed rate hike in June
Markets raised their bets for a June rate hike from the Federal Reserve following hotter-than-expected inflation data Friday morning.
Odds for a quarter percentage point increase jumped to 56%, according to CME Group data. That followed a report showing that personal consumption expenditures prices rose 0.4% in April and 4.7% from a year ago.
The chances of an increase were just 17% a week ago. The probability of a hike by no later than July rose to 75%.
Fri, May 26 202311:13 AM EDT
Consumer sentiment slightly beats expectations
The final reading on May consumer sentiment was slightly above expectations. The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index came in at 59.2, while economists polled by Dow Jones had forecast a reading of 57.7.
To be sure, that level is well below April’s 63.5.
“Consumer sentiment slid 7% amid worries about the path of the economy, erasing nearly half of the gains achieved after the all-time historic low from last June. This decline mirrors the 2011 debt ceiling crisis, during which sentiment also plunged,” Surveys of Consumers director Joanne Hsu wrote.
— Fred Imbert
Canada's bank earnings, job vacancies and Michael Sabia's new job: Must-read business and investing stories – The Globe and Mail
Getting caught up on a week that got away? Here’s your weekly digest of the Globe’s most essential business and investing stories, with insights and analysis from the pros, stock tips, portfolio strategies and more.
The second-quarter earnings from (most of) Canada’s biggest banks
Canada’s biggest banks kicked off this week’s second-quarter earnings season with disappointment. Only one of the Big Six banks, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, topped analysts’ forecasts. Meanwhile, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of Montreal and Royal Bank of Canada all fell short of analysts’ expectations. Stefanie Marotta reports that economic uncertainty, inflation and higher interest rates combined forces to hit the profits – and that a worsening economic outlook is prompting lenders to set aside more money for loans that could turn sour. National Bank of Canada will release its results next week.
Michael Sabia expected to be named CEO of Hydro-Québec
Michael Sabia, one of the federal government’s most trusted economic advisers, is leaving his position as deputy minister of finance and finalizing arrangements to become the next chief executive officer of Hydro-Québec. Nicolas Van Praet and Bill Curry report that talks between the Quebec government and Mr. Sabia began after the release of the federal budget in late March. The veteran business leader stepped down as CEO of pension fund giant Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec in 2019 after a decade at the helm, and has been a central figure in federal policy since the 2015 election of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Have a high-school diploma? Canada has a job for you
Job vacancies in Canada have soared as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, but, by and large, these vacant positions have required very little education. According to a new Statistics Canada report, there was a quarterly average of 563,000 job vacancies in 2022 that required a high-school diploma or less. It’s a different story, however, for those with postsecondary education. Last year, there was a quarterly average of 117,000 positions that required a bachelor’s degree or higher – or less than half the volume of unemployed people with that level of education. Matt Lundy takes a closer look at the national shortage of highly educated job seekers in this week’s Decoder.
Ring of Fire project at risk due to red tape, billionaire owner says
Andrew Forrest, the Australian billionaire owner of mining assets in Ontario’s Ring of Fire region, says the project is at risk because of red tape, the cumbersome consultation process and persistent delays. The project is a key part of the province and Canada’s plans to become a player in metals for electric-vehicle batteries, but it has sat undeveloped for the better part of two decades. Niall McGee points to unproven economics, tension with Indigenous communities, a lack of political consensus and the gigantic capital cost requirements as reasons behind the glacial pace of development.
Introducing a survey gauging the mood of Canada’s most powerful CEOs
What’s on the minds of Canada’s most powerful CEOs? A first-of-its-kind survey from The Globe’s Report on Business and Nanos Research asked a group of top business leaders, representing companies with combined revenues of roughly $224-billion, to anonymously share their views on trade and investment policy, interest rates, labour shortages, cyber attacks and their overall outlook for the Canadian economy. Jason Kirby reports on a few insights from the survey, including figures that reveal more than six in 10 CEOs believe Canada is on the wrong track when it comes to being a place for businesses to invest.
How common is it for adult kids to help parents financially?
The Bank of Mom and Dad is a common catchphrase for parents helping their adult children, but what do we call it when kids support their parents? There’s also some demographic urgency to the issue. Canada’s population is aging, and life expectancy keeps rising. The 2021 census shows that one of the fastest growing age groups is people who are 85 and older. Rob Carrick wants to dig into the economics, and is asking adults who provide financial help to their older parents to fill out this survey.
Sign up for MoneySmart Bootcamp: If you want to improve your financial fitness, The Globe’s MoneySmart Bootcamp newsletter course is for you. This new five-part course written by personal finance reporter Erica Alini will improve your personal finance skills, including budgeting, borrowing and investing. Subscribe to the MoneySmart Bootcamp and you’ll receive an e-mail a week to work a different financial muscle. Lessons will land in your inbox Wednesday afternoons.
Now that you’re all caught up, prepare for the week ahead with the Globe’s investing calendar.
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