Unifor, the union representing bus operators and transit maintenance workers, published a video of a day in the life of a transit operator to show some of the difficulties they face.
The video was shared to Unifor Canada's Facebook page, and the post reads, "Watch how tight scheduling makes it impossible at times for transit operators to take breaks."
Unifor Western Regional Director Gavin McGariggle notes how congestion has steadily increased on the roads in Metro Vancouver.
"So what's happening is that the running time - the time the driver has to get from point A to Point B - has been cut and cut and cut," explains McGariggle.
"So that there's less time for them to take a break, or have something to eat, or just simply reset themselves."
The video shows a bus driver asking riders to "squeeze back" as a crowd of people swarms into the bus. Next, it shows the interior of the bus, which is completely packed.
McGariggle adds how the buses are full due to overcrowding and that they are either, "crammed in there like sardines" or that the buses have to pass by people waiting at stops because there isn't room left on the bus.
The bus driver says that his first stop was Clark and that he's already, "down seven-and-a-half minutes." Further, he asks the riders if "anyone wants Clark" because he's too full to pick anyone else up.
Once the driver reaches Cambie, he states that he's behind nine-and-a-half minutes.
McGariggle adds that sometimes two or three buses will pass people who are standing in the rain, which creates more stress for riders and drivers. As such, he notes that the union wants to ensure that drivers have a guaranteed level of break time as well as financial penalties to the employer if they don't meet the minimum break times.
Unifor, the union representing bus operators and transit maintenance workers, has announced that today’s transit strike talks failed to reach a fair resolution.
Unifor Western Regional Director Gavin McGarrigle said that talks with TransLink failed to reach a fair resolution for transit workers. As a result, transit operators will move forward with Friday’s overtime ban by bus drivers.