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.
While there is no specific plan for escalating job action, it is inevitable if Translink refuses to acknowledge the role of workers in Metro Vancouver’s transit system. To help transit riders deal with new job action, any escalation will be preceded by considerable notice from Unifor.
Thank you for your ongoing support.