(Black Press Media files)

Metro Vancouver bus drivers give 72-hour strike notice

Unifor says Coast Mountain Bus Company has failed to address workers’ concerns about wages, benefits and working conditions

Transit operators in Metro Vancouver have served 72-hour strike notice, potentially leaving the region’s commuters without bus, SeaBus or community shuttle service as early as Friday.

Unifor says Coast Mountain Bus Company, which operates metro area transit services on behalf of TransLink, has failed to address workers’ concerns about wages, benefits and working conditions..

More than 5,000 members of Unifor Locals 111 and 2200, representing bus drivers, SeaBus and maintenance staff, voted 99 per cent in favour of job action earlier this month.

Although talks are at an impasse, Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor’s western regional director and lead negotiator, said the bargaining team will stay at the table all week if necessary to reach a deal.

A statement posted online by Coast Mountain Bus Company said it is committed to a negotiated settlement and ready to return to bargaining as soon as possible.

“At this moment, there are no disruptions to service, but (Coast Mountain, B.C. Rapid Transit Company,) Transit Police and TransLink are working to develop a robust contingency plan to assist customers should a worst-case scenario unfold,” said the statement.

The union’s leadership team had been meeting to determine the precise form of job action, and McGarrigle said that could include the option of rolling strikes or working to rule, but he said Unifor wants to avoid a “negative impact” on the public.

“One thing we can say at this stage is that we have ruled out a complete shutdown, but we are evaluating what type of job action we will take,” he said Monday.

“One thing is clear, if we don’t have our deal by Thursday at midnight, we will be taking legal job action.”

Metro Vancouver’s transit system has seen unprecedented growth over the last three years and leads all transit agencies in Canada and the United States, Coast Mountain said in a statement.

READ MORE: Metro Vancouver bus drivers, maintenance workers vote in favour of strike mandate

“(Coast Mountain) sees the conditions our bus and SeaBus operators, as well as its customers, face,” the statement said, adding the company has been implementing “unprecedented and significant investments” to bus service since 2016.

The last transit strike in Metro Vancouver was in 2001 when service was idled for four months.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

No dramatic increase for water, sewer fees in Agassiz secondary suites

Kent had considered increasing secondary suite fees to match that of single-family residences

Bizarre ‘hole punch cloud’ forms over Chilliwack

Several people posted images of the odd formation, which is scientifically known as a cavum

New playground surface possible for Agassiz’s Schep Park

The District of Kent will be applying for two grants to cover the $90K project

Christmas Seals campaign helps British Columbians breathe easier

One in five Canadians have lung disease such as COPD or asthma

Westbound Highway 1 crash in Langley

Accident occurred just west of 264th Street shortly before 6 a.m.

Agassiz’s Dickens Tea sells out for seventh year

The annual holiday event saw visitors enjoy high tea and historic talks

Tavares scores twice as Maple Leafs earn 4-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver sees two-game win streak snapped

UPDATED: No survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash: RCMP

Coroner confirms multiple fatalities after small plane goes down Tuesday night near Nanaimo

VIDEO: Harbour Air makes history with first electric aircraft test flight

Successful flight marks first of its kind in the world

The Grinch who Stole a Hedge: Security camera captures Chilliwack tree theft

RCMP arrives as person calmly walks away with tree in downtown area

Salmonella outbreak in Canada linked to rodents and snakes

92 cases of salmonella across six provinces, including B.C.

Meng Wanzhou wins right to more documents involving arrest at Vancouver airport

Defence lawyers allege the Huawei executive was unlawfully detained, searched and interrogated

Police say they’ve identified suspects in Bradley Kline homicide in Surrey

Kline, 26, was found dead at 7055 144A St. on Dec. 7, 2018

Most Read