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Unifor to unveil next steps as Metro Vancouver transit strike continues

The union representing roughly 5,000 striking transit workers in Metro Vancouver says it is ready to discuss its next steps in the 12-day-old job action.
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 Unifor, the union representing Coast Mountain Bus Company workers, says they will announce the next steps in their ongoing job action. File photoTransLink says its latest review shows a reduction in bus overcrowding. (File photo)

VANCOUVER — The union representing roughly 5,000 striking transit workers in Metro Vancouver says it is ready to discuss its next steps in the 12-day-old job action.

Unifor lead negotiator Gavin McGarrigle and other Unifor representatives say they will hold a news conference later today in New Westminster.

Coast Mountain Bus Company handles Lower Mainland bus and SeaBus routes on behalf of TransLink, but talks between the company and Unifor broke off nearly two weeks ago.

Wages, benefits and working conditions are key issues.

A ban on overtime by maintenance workers slowed or cancelled runs on about two dozen bus routes last week, and there have been frequent cancellations on the SeaBus link between Vancouver and the North Shore, including six planned cancellations late this afternoon.

The union has said the overtime ban could be extended to drivers, potentially affecting as much as 15 per cent of bus service across the region.

Premier John Horgan warned last week that lengthy job action, similar to a four-month transit strike in 2001, will not be tolerated.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 12, 2019.