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Toronto sets Jan. 19 deadline for reopening offices after strike

Toronto sets Jan. 19 deadline for reopening offices after strike

Toronto sets January date for city workers to return to the office, amid rising COVID-19 cases, Omicron uncertainty

Toronto set to resume office operations in January, despite rising COVID-19 cases, after the city’s unions voted no on a deal that would have allowed staff to return to the office, after a two-week strike. (The Canadian Press)

Toronto set to resume office operations in January, despite rising COVID-19 cases, after the city’s unions voted no on a deal that would have allowed staff to return to the office, after a two-week strike. (The Canadian Press)

Toronto has set a Jan. 19 deadline for the city to reopen offices, following a two-week strike that brought the city to its lowest point in the pandemic, an action Mayor John Tory said was driven by the city’s precarious financial state amid the pandemic.

The city has announced a new series of measures intended to help residents get through another crisis after a strike by more than 200,000 city workers ended last Friday.

The measures include an extension of social-distancing rules that aim to prevent more than 10 per cent of city workers from being in the same building.

It also calls for more of the private sector to help staff stay home throughout the week.

“We are ready to reopen today, and we need everyone’s help,” mayoral office chief Markakedown said Saturday at City Hall.

Tory, who is running for re-election, said he was very pleased with the city’s actions, in advance of the Feb. 3 election.

“The most important thing that’s happened is we’ve taken action and we’ve shown leadership. It’s not about us, it’s about the people of Toronto and what has been done in the last 10 weeks will be a turning point in the entire fight against COVID-19.”

‘A huge win for Toronto’

The strike — in effect for three weeks — was a result of a strike mandate from the city’s two unions — Amalgamated Transit Union and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union — for a labour deal intended to guarantee their members a minimum $9.25 paycheque and $28-a-week health-care coverage in the event of a national health-care crisis

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