The union representing TransLink’s bus drivers and SeaBus workers has issued a 72-hour strike notice.
According to a release from Unifor, “the failure of Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMBC) to meaningfully address workers’ concerns about working conditions, wages, and benefits during this round of negotiations has led Unifor Local 111 and 2200 to serve 72-hour notice of job action.”
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Unifor represents over 5,000 workers with TransLink subsidiary CMBC, which operates SeaBus passenger ferries and over 96% of Metro Vancouver’s bus services.
The workers — who are members of Unifor Local 111 and 2200 — have not had a contract since March 31, 2019. The union says that since the last collective agreement, “a significant increase in ridership has strained available resources and eroded working conditions.”
If an agreement is not reached in the next 72 hours, Unifor says job action “that will affect services” will begin. The deadline to reach a deal is Thursday evening at midnight, and a strike could begin Friday morning.
“It’s not hard to understand what is happening here. The company is showing little respect for the difficult working conditions that our members must face every day,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President, in a statement.
On October 10, union members delivered an overwhelming 99% strike mandate after negotiations for a new collective agreement broke off earlier this month.