Unifor members working for Autobus Longueuil go on strike

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A group of people, raising their firsts in the air and holding white Unifor placards in front of a chain-link fence with yellow school buses in the background.

Members of Unifor Local 510 working for Autobus Longueuil in Longueil, Que. went on strike beginning March 21.

The Centre de Services Scolaires Marie-Victorin is the main client of the school bus company Autobus Longueuil inc. The South Shore of Montreal, in particular Longueuil, is impacted by this ongoing strike.

"It's really sad because about 5,000 students are deprived of school transportation," said Jean-Yves Filion, National Representative for Unifor Quebec.

"The wages proposed by the employer are frankly an insult considering the difficulty for all school bus operators to recruit staff in order to maintain the school bus service, which is threatened if nothing is done to improve the working conditions of these workers. Our members are ready to stand their ground.”

The union is demanding improved wages for workers who are responsible for transporting children between their homes and schools. The current salary is not on par with their responsibilities, traffic jams, breakdowns, refueling and instances of discipline on the buses.

Unifor noted that the Quebec government has paid a significant bonus to school transporters in the range of 15% to 30% of their contracts.

"This money is supposed to be used to give decent wages to employees,” said Filion. “However, we don't see one iota of it at the bargaining table. This situation must end immediately, and we will fight to the end to get what is rightfully ours.”

Unifor Local 510 school bus drivers have been without a contract since June 30, 2022, and has about 70 members.

The members voted unanimously in favour of a strike mandate if a tentative agreement was not reached by March 20, 2023.