WHISTLER—By removing its latest offer from the bargaining table and suggesting binding arbitration, the employer in the seven-week long Sea to Sky transit dispute has ensured that the parties are farther from reaching a conclusion, not closer.
“PW Transit squandered weeks of progress with their stunt today,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “The employer’s stubbornness on fair wages has set negotiations back weeks, if not months.”
During negotiations in Whistler on Thursday, March 17, 2022, the employer presented a package on benefits and pensions that, when combined with a roadmap to wage parity with Vancouver’s transit workers, could end the job action immediately and restart transit service for Squamish, Whistler, and Pemberton.
However, the company has reneged on the March 17 offer and wants to send all issues to binding arbitration, something the union says is unworkable.
“Under the right circumstances, binding arbitration can move negotiations forward, but what PW Transit has proposed will ensure the deck is stacked in their favour, and we cannot agree to that,” said McGarrigle. “Unifor remains focussed on a fair contract and the resulting resumption of transit service.”
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.