Transit strike impacting South Delta route

High-frequency bus routes, including the 601 in South Delta was impacted by the on-going transit strike on Friday.

In a statement sent to media by Translink communications Friday morning, Translink said union job action resulted in a reduction of frequency on 25 bus routes during the morning rush. The majority of routes affected were high-frequency routes including: 3 through 10, 20, 25, 32, 33, 41, 43, 84, 152, 156, 183, 188, 189, 403, 410, 430, 555, 601.

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“Coast Mountain Bus Company is making every effort to ensure reliable service, but the union’s job action will continue to have impacts on the system,” said the statement. “The union has been asked to return to bargaining and take part in mediation, but they have repeatedly refused.”

Members at Unifor Locals 111 and 2200 began job action on Nov. 1 after the employer balked at improvements to working conditions, benefits, and wages.

“There has not been a serious offer from the company since we served strike notice,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “In other words, the company feels very comfortable with system-wide job action.”

Unifor represents 3,800 transit operators and nearly 1,000 skilled trades and maintenance staff at Coast Mountain Bus Company, the firm contracted by the regional transit authority, Translink. The first phase of job action includes a uniform ban for operators and an overtime ban for maintenance workers.

Contract talks have been underway for months.

Unifor says that the system is under stress, and Unifor members are bearing the brunt of it with assaults on the rise and schedules planned too tight for bathroom breaks.

“Metro Vancouver is undergoing a historic transit expansion, but it can’t leave workers behind,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “It’s not a world-class transit system if operators are treated like second-class citizens.”

McGarrigle says that, without progress on core issues, nearly 5,000 members will escalate job action in the coming weeks.

There are no further talks scheduled.

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