Don’t fret — the universe isn’t out to get you. It’s happening in buildings across Ontario.
An ongoing elevator technician strike is entering its second month, after negotiations to renew the agreement between the International Union of Elevator Constructors, representing elevator technicians in Ontario, and the National Elevator and Escalator Association fell apart on May 1st.
Elevator and escalator construction will not proceed while all elevator technicians for major unionized elevator contractors in Ontario are striking. The building of new machines and maintenance of existing ones is on hold until the dispute is resolved.
The management staff of the elevator contractors will be providing emergency maintenance to their clients. Priority matters include entrapments and other safety concerns, elevators out of service in single elevator buildings, elevators out of service in buildings with vulnerable populations such as homes for the aged and hospitals, as well as elevators out of service in buildings for clients.
Many people have been struggling with the elevators in their buildings since the strike began. Real estate agent Jessica Kinnaird lives in a west end condo and said one of the two elevators in her building stopped working for a short period of time, making the lobby a nightmare.
“One elevator went down which left a building full of people very frustrated,” said Kinnaird. “The wait time was a lot longer than normal and was even more of a pain in the evening when people were coming home from work.”
Kinnaird also said there were many elderly residents who had no other option than to wait long periods of time for the elevator, as they couldn’t take the stairs.
According to a Globe and Mail article in early May, a man was arrested and charged with mischief after he was found tampering with two elevators in a building in Toronto’s west end. Although it is yet to be confirmed, the incident did appear to be related to the strike.
There is no word on an estimated time for the strike to end, but hey look on the bright side, walking up stairs is better for your health!