Total three day shutdown for buses if no deal is reached in transit strike

Gavin McGarrigle announces a three day shut down of Metro Vancouver's bus system on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. Screengrab, Facebook live Unifor press conference.
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Reported by Joe Ayres

Official bus services in Metro Vancouver will be shutting down for three days next week if a deal is not reached between Coast Mountain Bus Company and the union representing its drivers and mechanics.

If the labour dispute is not settled by Nov. 27, Unifor said its bus drivers and mechanics would escalate current strike action by refusing to work on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Unifor bus drivers will not return to work for three days

Gavin McGarrigle, the western regional director of Unifor, told a media conference at Unifor’s New Westminster regional office, “this is not a stunt. This is real. These are members, men and women who are putting their own families on the line to fight for a better transit system in Metro Vancouver.”

In a written statement, CMBC said it is “alarmed” by the announcement, calling the action “drastic”.

CMBC president Michael McDaniel, quoted in the statement, said, “it is completely unacceptable our customers are being dragged into this dispute.”

Unifor workers are refusing to wear uniforms and to work overtime

In the statement, CMBC revealed it offered a wage increase over four years that would raise the top annual salary to $69,900 for drivers and $88,000 for mechanics.

The strike began on Nov. 1. Job action began with drivers wearing civilian clothing and refusing to work overtime.

The following video shows Langara students learning about the potential shutdown for the first time and discussing how they think it may affect them.

 

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