FILE – Transit users wait to board a bus at the Langley City bus loop recently. (Black Press Media files)

Strike action begins among Metro Vancouver transit workers

Job action Friday morning includes ditching uniforms, refusing overtime with plans to escalate

Strike action is officially underway among Metro Vancouver bus drivers, SeaBus operators and maintenance workers following a break down in negotiations between the union representing 5,000 members and its employer.

Starting Friday at 8 a.m., SeaBus and bus operators will replace their Coast Mountain Bus Company uniforms with regular attire. Technicians and maintenance workers will begin refusing overtime.

The strike action comes after the Unifor announced that contract talks with Coast Mountain broke off Thursday afternoon. A 72-hour strike notice, supported by 99 per cent of Unifor local 111 and 2200 members, was issued earlier this week.

“The system has normalized overtime, so without it, the turnaround for repairs and other maintenance will build up quickly,” Unifor Local 2200 president Mike Smith said Thursday. “We trust that TransLink will not put unsafe vehicles back on the road, so it is a question of fewer vehicles available in the system.”

READ MORE: Metro Vancouver bus drivers give 72-hour strike notice

In a last-ditch effort to halt job action Friday, Coast Mountain Bus Company president Mike McDaniel released a statement urging the union to come back to the bargaining table.

“Our negotiators have repeatedly asked union representatives to participate in third-party mediation to help resolve the current situation, but they have refused to take part,” McDaniel said.

He added that the union’s demands would amount to more than half-a-billion dollars over 10 years, which include wage increases and improved working conditions, specifically recovery time for bus drivers between routes.

Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director, said that job action will escalate in the coming weeks.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Famous skateboard residence goes up for sale in Maple Ridge

Kyle Dion’s house on Stoney Avenue has a backyard feature few others can boast

Maple Ridge sprinter earns track scholarship to TWU

Alina Olson broke the MRSS record in the 100 m dash last season

Being Young: A strange little concept called hope

One generation consistently cries out to the others, ‘you have it easier than me.’

MRSS cheer team to compete against world’s best

The squad will represent Canada at the 2020 World School Cheerleading Championships in Orlando

Going Green: House, I’m looking at you

‘Change the place you live by changing how you get around.’

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

Surrey tells Uber to cease operations in city, but company ‘respectfully’ declines

Ridesharing company told to stop operating within the city by 9 p.m. Jan. 24

Coronavirus concerns cause cancellation of Langley Lunar New Year celebration

Close to 1,000 were expected to attend the annual Live In Langley event on Saturday

Second earthquake in two days strikes near Agassiz

A 2.6-magnitude recorded Saturday morning

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Most Read