Gavin McGarrigle, the western regional director of Unifor, calls for the Coast Mountain Bus Company to up wages and improve break time for bus operators and maintenance workers. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)

Gavin McGarrigle, the western regional director of Unifor, calls for the Coast Mountain Bus Company to up wages and improve break time for bus operators and maintenance workers. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)

Union to prepare for picket lines, announce new measures in transit strike escalation

Unifor said the move comes after a ‘failure by the employer to make new offers at the bargaining table’

The union representing 5,000 Coast Mountain Bus Company workers said it will announce the “next stage” of strike action on Wednesday.

Tuesday morning’s announcement came as a result of what Unifor called a “failure by the employer to make new offers at the bargaining table.”

The announcement will be followed by strike training for workers, including “picket line preparation.”

Bus operators and maintenance workers have been undertaking job action since Nov. 1. The labour dispute began with an overtime ban for maintenance workers and a uniform ban for bus drivers on Nov 1, but last week Unifor announced its bus drivers would not take overtime on alternating days.

In a statement, TransLink spokesperson Ben Murphy said the union was focused on “stunts and disruption” rather than a resolution to the labour dispute. Murphy noted the offer put forward was “in excess of other public sector settlements in British Columbia.”

TransLink said it expected the overtime bans to disrupt about 10 per cent of its bus system. Dozens of SeaBus sailings have been cancelled in the weeks since the job action began on Nov. 1.

READ MORE: Metro Vancouver commuters to see 10% cut in bus service as transit strike ramps up

READ MORE: What happens if Metro Vancouver bus drivers start a ‘good work’ strike?

More to come.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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