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.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Candlelight Parade lights up downtown Mission

Thousands of people come out to enjoy holiday tradition

It’s a Wonderful Breakfast fundraiser comes to Mission

The event, on Dec. 12, is hosted by the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation

SUV on fire on Highway 1 between Abbotsford and Chilliwack

Emergency crews on scene and blocking the right lane

VIDEO: Abbotsford donair restaurant catches fire

Donairo’s on McCallum Street site of kitchen fire

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

Four men in hospital after early morning Vancouver stabbing

A large group of men was seen fighting in Yaletwon

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Brain injury from domestic abuse a ‘public health crisis,’ says B.C. researcher

Nearly 80% of the domestic violence victims who reported to police last year were woman

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

Miller nets winner as Canucks edge Sabres 6-5 in OT

Roussel, Leivo tally two apiece for Vancouver

‘Norovirus-like’ outbreak interrupts Bantam hockey showcase in Greater Victoria

Several athletes were sent home, quarantined on the ferry

Strong turnout of volunteers to search for missing senior

Ted Vanderveen disappeared in rural Maple Ridge on Nov. 28

Most Read