West Vancouver’s Blue Bus union has blasted West Vancouver District for attempting to end-run a driver and mechanic overtime ban imposed last week and for failing to make a new counteroffer after the employer’s last proposal was strongly rejected.
Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 134 President Cornel Neagu said the union is considering filing a second Unfair Labour Practice against West Vancouver with the BC Labour Relations Board over its efforts to encourage part-time and other members to break the union’s overtime ban.
“After we had a 99% in favour strike vote, served 72-hour strike notice and announced an overtime and uniform ban, West Vancouver District has actually tried to make the situation worse – not better,” says Neagu. “West Vancouver human resources staff started calling individual ATU Local 134 members to offer them overtime if they broke the union’s job action – we believe that constitutes at least an Unfair Labour Practice,” Neagu said.
“And meanwhile, West Vancouver keeps saying to the media that they are ‘waiting for a counteroffer from the union’ when they know full well their last offer was so unacceptable it was rejected immediately by our bargaining committee – what are they thinking?” Neagu asked.
“Let’s be clear – we will enforce the overtime ban and we will contemplate a complaint to the LRB and we will consider increasing job action if West Vancouver fails to come back to negotiations with a real and improved contract offer – not smoke and mirrors in the media,” Neagu said.
“We regret that our valued riders on the North Shore are being inconvenienced by the cancellation of over 12% of bus service but Blue Bus drivers and mechanics were forced into the minimum possible job action by West Vancouver refusing to negotiate a fair contract that address our need for breaks and the same shuttle bus wages as every other driver gets in Metro Vancouver,” Neagu said.
ATU Local 134 has 150 members who operate and maintain West Vancouver’s Blue Bus system of 64 buses that transport about 18,000 passenger trips per day.