Blue Bus transit workers have voted in favor of starting strike action. The Union said it is prepared for a full scale strike if no agreement is reached.
“We remain hopeful that new contract will be reached without disruption of service but the obstruction has continually been a failure to bargain by District of West Vancouver,” the ATU Local 134 said. “District of West Vancouver is responsible for this strike and whatever happens in the next week.”
West Vancouver’s Blue Bus conventional drivers, community shuttle drivers, servicemen and mechanics have voted overwhelmingly 99% in favour of taking strike action – if necessary – after West Vancouver District repeatedly failed to bargain a new collective agreement.
Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 134 President Cornel Neagu said members are completely frustrated that West Vancouver District and its elected Council have refused to negotiate on the key items of breaks for drivers and wage parity for community shuttle drivers to match conditions all other Metro Vancouver drivers have long received.
“We want a new contract, not job action, but we will do whatever it takes to reach a new collective agreement that treats our members as fairly as all other transit operators in Metro Vancouver,” Neagu said. “We will file 72-hour strike notice today and then implement an immediate overtime ban and uniform ban to start on Saturday July 23rd at 1 p.m. indefinitely until a new contract is reached.”
The District of West Vancouver said it is disappointed to learn that the ATU membership representing Blue Bus employees have voted in favour of commencing strike action. The District says it has offered a fair deal, including significant wage increases in line with Coast Mountain Bus Company’s recent agreement, and measures to address the working condition concerns identified by the union.
The District says it also proposed a wage increase above the 3% to address the wage gap between Blue Bus Community Bus drivers and Coast Mountain Bus Company Community Bus drivers, as well as language to address the union’s scheduling concerns. The proposed contract is for a period of one year, which would allow employees to receive wage increases immediately and address remaining concerns within a short time frame.