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

Hospital patient pleads guilty to dumbbell assault of nurse in Abbotsford

Neale Heath admits to assault causing bodily harm in attack last September

Abbotsford wrestlers earn gold at Miri Piri Championship

W.J. Mouat Hawks take home top team prize, many locals reach podium

Westbound Highway 1 roll-over crash slowing commuters in Abbotsford

Accident occurred just west of Mt. Lehman Road, left lane blocked

World-renowned violinist to perform at Abbotsford prison

Gidon Kremer’s concert on Jan. 29 is part of Looking at the Stars’ program

Man charged with killing woman in Kamloops motel room claims he ‘blacked out’

Debra Novacluse of Abbotsford was found beaten to death in a room at a Kamloops motel in 2016.

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Deer carcass strung up at Surrey fire hall prompts investigation

Investigation underway following complaint a Surrey firefighter hung a deer carcass in a fire hall

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Mission Hill cellarman fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

Most Read