Canadian Manufacturing

Saskatchewan union seeks injunction to block closure of bus company

The union representing workers at Saskatchewan Transportation are aiming to keep the crown-owned business, which employs 224, operating

May 18, 2017  by John Cotter, The Canadian Press

REGINA—The union that represents Saskatchewan Transportation Company workers says it is seeking an injunction to stop the provincial government from shutting down the Crown-owned bus service.

The Amalgamated Transit Union said it has filed its request and will be in Regina Court of Queen’s Bench May 18 to make its arguments.

“We are filing for an immediate injunction to stop the closure of STC,” Eric Carr, president of ATU Local 1374, said Tuesday.

“The Crown Corporations Act was not followed and we are hoping that the judge will see it our way—not only for our 200-plus members of our union but also for the citizens of Saskatchewan.”


Kathy Young, a government spokeswoman, said the province has the authority to wind up STC.

The government “will be advancing that position before the court in response to the ATU’s injunction,” she said.

The Saskatchewan government announced in March that it would close STC and put 224 people out of work.

The government said it would cost $85 million to keep the Crown corporation running for the next five years.

The announcement was part of a provincial budget that included cuts and tax hikes to help deal with a forecasted deficit caused in part to a drop in revenue from oil, natural gas, potash and uranium.

Carr said STC has been an essential service for many remote communities in Saskatchewan for more than 70 years.

He said a number of organizations are expected to file affidavits in support the union’s bid for an injunction.

Earlier this spring there was a demonstration in Regina against shutting down the service, which is to go into effect at the end of the month.

Carr said the Saskatchewan Party government hasn’t done any studies on how the closure would affect the province.

He said the union hopes the injunction will spark a groundswell of support for STC similar to the backlash against the government’s planned cuts to libraries that were also announced in the budget.

Last month the government backed off, saying it made a mistake, and promised to restore $4.8 million in funding to the library system.

“I hope Premier Wall will change his mind like he did with the libraries,” Carr said.