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Bill to end DriveTest Strike Introduced

DriveTestWith over 368,000 Ontarians affected, Wilson and Klees say it’s time to end the dispute

(November 23, 2009) Progressive Conservative MPP Jim Wilson (Simcoe-Grey) introduced legislation today that would end the 14 week old strike between DriveTest and its 600 employees.  The bill passed First Reading by a vote of 14-0, with Liberal and NDP MPPs abstaining.

“More than 368,000 people have been negatively impacted by this strike,” said Wilson.  “With each passing day thousands more are held back from getting a job because they can’t get a drivers license.  It’s hurting our economy.”

If passed, the DriveTest Labour Dispute Resolution Act, 2009 would send the 600 employees back to work right away, while DriveTest operator, Serco-Des Inc., and the United Steelworkers Local 9511 would resolve their dispute through binding arbitration.

“Jobs are being lost because truck drivers can’t upgrade their licences, new drivers can’t get licences with the result that they can’t get jobs, and they can’t enroll in new job training or college programs,” said Frank Klees, Progressive Conservative Critic for Transportation and Infrastructure, who has been after the McGuinty Government to resolve this matter since it began.

Wilson is urging the McGuinty Government to support the legislation and ensure swift passage of the bill to end the strike, which affects more than 4,000 Ontarians per day.  He also pointed to the fact that over 10,000 driving instructors have been silently suffering due to the impasse.

“Dalton McGuinty has already overseen the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs,” said Wilson.  “Ontario can’t afford to see driving instructors and training schools lay off staff, nor can we support the inability of young people to get a license so they can get a job.”

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