Published Thursday, April 23, 2020 11:43AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, April 23, 2020 8:07PM EDT
The TTC announced the measure in a news release issued on Thursday morning.
It said that it will temporarily lay off 1,000 transit operators in order to “match service capacity to system demand,” subject to negotiations with Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113. It says that the layoffs will also affect 200 non-unionized employees.
The TTC says that it expects the temporary lay-offs and other measures it is taking to save it about $25 million a month once fully implemented.
“This was really a tough decision and it actually broke my heart to do it but it really is impossible right now to ignore the financial impact that has occurred to the TTC because of COVID-19,” CEO Rick Leary told CP24 on Thursday. “Typically a third of our revenue comes directly from the fare box and our ridership is down 85 per cent. So we are depending on 15 per cent of ridership to help fund the TTC. It is just not sustainable.”
The layoffs won’t take effect for at least 30 days as the TTC conducts negotiations with the union representing its frontline employees.
Leary said that he wants to make sure that affected employees have healthcare coverage and a “small package” to keep them going through the furlough. He said that he also wants them to know that they will be back on the job, as soon as ridership returns to something approaching normal levels.
“We are going to bring them back. They did nothing wrong this is purely the result of a pandemic that happened unexpectedly,” he said.