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TTC union votes 'no confidence' in Kinnear's leadership

Last Updated Feb 21, 2017 at 11:57 pm EDT

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 president Bob Kinnear is seen in an undated file photo. CITYNEWS

The executive board of the TTC’s largest union has approved a motion of “no confidence” in the leadership of Bob Kinnear.

The board for Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113 held an emergency session on Tuesday night.

In a statement, the union said they “unanimously condemned the recent actions of Local 113 president Bob Kinnear who conspired to disaffiliate the local from the ATU.”

The board also passed a motion demanding that Kinnear “withdraw his request to the court to sue ‘as a representative of the local and/or its members’.”

This comes same day that an Ontario Superior Court judge ordered Kinnear be reinstated as the elected leader of Local 113.

U.S.-based ATU International took over Local 113 on Feb. 3 — with vice president Manny Sforza acting as temporary trustee — days after Kinnear sent a letter to the Canadian Labour Congress about changing unions.

Kinnear claims ATU International failed to stand up for Local 113 when the Ontario Liberals implemented Bill 150 and was silent during recent clashes with the TTC and the mayor.

“The court has vindicated Bob Kinnear for fighting for his members’ democratic right to choose their leaders,” his lawyers said in a statement.

“The decision is a stunning indictment of the unconscionable requirements of U.S.-based international unions that prevent Canadian members from ever escaping and creating strong Canadian unions.”

Meanwhile, Sforza called it a “sad day” for workers in Toronto

“The court’s decision to reinstate Bob Kinnear undermines a long history of union democracy in the province,” he said in a statement.”

“Local 113 has clear and convincing evidence Bob Kinnear was involved in a conspiracy, along with Jerry Dias from Unifor, to deceive the members of Local 113.

“Local 113 will not be sold to the auto workers by Bob Kinnear or anyone else.”

The union represents nearly 11,000 public transit workers