Unifor will return to the bargaining table to negotiate in good faith with Coast Mountain Bus Company, but warns that more inaction from the employer would cause further transit disruptions by the end of the week.
“We’ve been bargaining for months. Transit workers in Metro Vancouver have been very patient with the employer,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “But ultimately our members have a legal right to withdraw their services if the disrespect from Translink and CMBC continues and a contract cannot be achieved through bargaining alone.”
Unifor bargained for 29 non-consecutive days before the members of Unifor Locals 111 and 2200 began legal strike action on November 1. At issue are working conditions, benefits, and wages.
Since the dispute began, nearly 100 Seabus sailings have been cancelled and the impacts of an overtime ban in maintenance have begun to impact bus routes across the region.
But Unifor says escalation is assured if the employer cannot bring new offers to the negotiations. Unifor announced a one-day overtime ban for transit operators on Friday, November 15, with consideration of additional overtime bans next week.
“Inaction by Translink will result in new job action on Friday,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “We are prepared to work very hard to reach a fair agreement and sincerely hope the company is not playing games when it asks us to return to the table.”