VANCOUVER – Unifor has submitted 72-hour strike notice to Pacific Western Transportation (PWTransit) placing Local 114 transit members in a legal strike position as of Sun., Nov. 19 at 8:46 a.m.
“Our union remains committed to trying to negotiate a contract that addresses the concerns and needs of the membership,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne.
“The decision to take job action is never taken lightly but our members cannot continue to survive on lower wages than the industry standard and will strike if necessary.”
Prior to any transit disruptions, Unifor commits to giving the travelling public as much notice as it can.
The bargaining committee will meet with the company on Nov. 20 and 21.
“Unifor is committed to fighting vigorously for our transit members working in Comox and Campbell River, B.C.,” said Unifor Western Regional Director Gavin McGarrigle.
“Our members deserve fairness when it comes to doing the same work and driving the same equipment. They should be making the same wages as transit workers in other parts of the province.”
The Local 114 members are seeking a compensation package equivalent to similar-sized transit operations on Vancouver Island and elsewhere in the province. The company offer did not close that gap.
The wage disparity for mechanics in this unit is $4.50 an hour below transit mechanics in Whistler.
Local 114’s contract with PWT expired March 31, 2023. Members voting overwhelmingly in favour of job action in a strike vote held in September.
“The employer has refused to address our wage expectations," said Gord McGrath, President of Unifor Local 114. “Our members have waited for the employer to come to the table with a respectful offer and they have yet to see it.”
PWT is contracted by BC Transit to provide services in Campbell River and Comox Valley, B.C. and work as transit operators, handy dart operators, mechanics, and cleaners.
Unifor represents 20,000 members across the road transportation sector, including 6,500 transit operators and skilled trades staff working in urban transit.
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.
For more information, please contact Unifor National Communications Representative Ian Boyko at @email or (778) 903-6549.