A bus is pictured in downtown Vancouver, Friday, November, 1, 2019. A transit strike remains in the air as talks between Vancouver bus drivers and their employee break down. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Metro Vancouver transit strike prompts cancellations as premier won’t intervene

About 5,000 transit drivers, SeaBus operators and maintenance staff began limited job action last week

Commuters in Metro Vancouver face more cancellations on Wednesday as talks remain stalled in an ongoing transit strike and Premier John Horgan says the province will not intervene.

About 5,000 transit drivers, SeaBus operators and maintenance staff began limited job action last week, including a ban on overtime by maintenance workers.

The ban had an almost immediate effect on SeaBus service connecting Vancouver and the North Shore, resulting in sailing cancellations that continued Tuesday with three afternoon round-trips scrubbed.

TransLink later announced that 14 sailings in the morning and afternoon on Wednesday would be cancelled as well.

Horgan told a Vancouver news conference that “collective bargaining should run its course” and his government has “no plans to interfere” in the impasse between Unifor and Coast Mountain Bus Company, which bargains on behalf of TransLink.

Gavin McGarrigle, lead negotiator for Unifor, has said the union is still considering its next steps but could extend the overtime ban to bus drivers, something he believes would immediately impact service by 10 to 15 per cent.

Wages, benefits and working conditions are key issues and Mike McDaniel, president of the Coast Mountain Bus Company, says the company has offered wage increases of 12.2 per cent to maintenance workers and 9.6 per cent to drivers over four years.

No new talks are scheduled, although New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Cote, the chair of the Mayor’s Council on Metro Vancouver transit, called Monday for a mediator to step into the dispute to head off further disruptions.

TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond said that nothing gets resolved as long as Coast Mountain Bus Company and Unifor negotiators refuse to talk.

“We have to bargain this. We have to do something that, at the end of the day, is affordable and we have to make sure that taxpayers believe we’re providing good value for money.”

READ MORE: Unifor says transit strike will continue till CMBC offers a new deal

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack Agriculture Tour goes virtual during pandemic

Rather than bus tourists to local farms, tour stops will be posted on Facebook and Instagram

City of Chilliwack holding annual Hazardous Waste Day in early October

The one-day event is a chance to get rid of household things like pesticides and paint cans

Child sex offender relocated from Princeton after newspaper reveals his proximity to school

Offender convicted in 2019 of charges related to sex assault and child pornography

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Chilliwack Chiefs to play home-heavy preseason slate

The BCHL team will play 11 exhibition games, only three of them on the road

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Machine pistol among 14 firearms seized from Alaska man at B.C. border crossing

Corey Scott Kettering faces charges of smuggling and prohibited firearm possession

Most Read