Unifor and Coast Mountain Bus Company reach tentative agreement

Unifor Local 111 and 2200 have reached a tentative agreement with Coast Mountain Bus Company, ending a 26-day strike by nearly 5,000 transit workers.

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Background

Unifor Local 111 represents the 4,000 transit operators that drive buses in the Translink system in Metro Vancouver. Unifor Local 2200 represents the nearly 1,000 skilled trades and technicians that maintain the bus and Seabus fleet.

Both locals have been negotiating with Coast Mountain Bus Company (the vendor contracted by Translink) for months. Talks broke off on October 31 after the company stopped bargaining and dug into their position.

Despite the company’s entrenched and disrespectful approach, Unifor locals opted to take the least disruptive job action at their disposal. On November 1, transit operators began a uniform ban and mechanics began a ban on working overtime.

Transit Workers’ Bargaining Demands

At its core, this labour dispute is about acknowledging the important role that transit workers play in a system that is both under stress and expanding. 

While wage negotiations are fluid and subject to change, transit operators are demanding enough time during their work day to use the bathroom and have a snack. Coast Mountain maintenance staff are calling for parity with their peers at Skytrain, while drivers are asking for comparisons to cities like Toronto.

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