No SeaBus sailing cancellations on Tuesday amidst transit strike

Nov 19 2019, 9:19 am

TransLink has announced on Monday morning that SeaBus sailing cancellations will not be required, as labour action of Metro Vancouver bus and SeaBus workers near the three-week mark.

Over the past weekend, the company warned passengers to expect the most significant disruptions on Monday and Tuesday since the strike began more than two weeks ago. TransLink later announced that the disruption was being called off, as a “staffing shortage issue” was resolved, although there were still twelve sailing cancellations on Monday.

Unifor’s overtime ban on bus drivers went into effect last Friday, adding another layer to labour action that already entails an overtime ban on maintenance workers and a ban on uniforms.

TransLink subsidiary Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMBC) and Unifor briefly resumed negotiations last Thursday, but talks quickly fell apart, leading to the escalation of job action of bus drivers the next day.

CMBC says the union rejected its offer of increasing the top annual wage for bus drivers by about $6,100 over four years, bringing their annual salary to $69,900 after two years of employment. For skilled trades workers, their top annual wages would increase by about $10,000 to bring their annual salary to $88,000.

The public transit authority maintains their rejected increases outpace other public sector settlements in the province, and that meeting the union’s complete demands would necessitate raising fares and taxes while cutting back on service expansion plans amidst rapidly growing ridership. Over 10 years, the union’s plan would cost about $700 million.

With files from Kenneth Chan.