There will be a transit strike in Metro Vancouver Friday

Photo: Emma Crawford Hampel

Be prepared to make alternative travel arrangements Friday.

Unifor, the union representing bus operators and transit maintenance workers, announced that it will be moving forward with a transit strike effective Nov. 1.

The union states that the, “Coast Mountain Bus Company’s refusal to make any significant offers over the last 48 hours have forced Unifor Locals 111 and 2200 negotiators to call off talks.”

“We have not had a serious offer from the company since we served strike notice,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “In other words, the company feels very comfortable with system-wide job action.”

Unifor negotiators add that no progress was made on working conditions, benefits, or wages, which is contrary to a statement made by Michael McDaniel, President, Coast Mountain Bus Company.

“I don’t know what contract talks Mr. McDaniel is following, but the employer has made virtually no movement this week on the issues that have got us to a 99% strike mandate,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director.

“Transit workers are very disheartened and Metro Vancouver’s passengers should be disappointed in CMBC’s unwillingness to find a solution.”

McGarrigle adds that the union will escalate job action in the coming weeks if more progress isn’t made on breaks for operators and consideration of parity with similar workers in Canada and Translink’s own system.

Jill Drews, Senior Issues Management Advisor, TransLink, confirmed the strike, noting that the action would move forward, “at 8 am tomorrow in the form of overtime ban for maintenance staff for bus and SeaBus.”

“We expect this move will result in cancelations. Due to the nature of the job action, we are unable to predict which trips will be canceled,” she added.

Unifor adds that there are no further talks scheduled, and that a uniform and overtime ban will commence at 8 a.m. on Nov. 1.

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