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Transit strike update: There will not be a system-wide bus shutdown tomorrow

Last-minute contract talks between Unifor and Coast Mountain Bus Company have reached a tentative agreement and there will not be a shutdown tomorrow.

 Photo: Elana Shepert / Vancouver Is AwesomePhoto: Elana Shepert / Vancouver Is Awesome

Last-minute contract talks between Unifor, the union representing bus operators and transit workers, and Coast Mountain Bus Company have reached a tentative agreement and Unifor will not proceed with a system-wide shutdown tomorrow.

As the transit strike enters its 26th day, Unifor had prepared for a complete shutdown of bus and SeaBus service. The shutdown was meant to be in effect Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, but employees planned to return to the job Saturday.

Unifor previously stated that it would continue negotiations until midnight, and, if no agreement was reached, a three-day strike would commence, affecting about 350,000 transit users.

Negotiations started at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, and the deadline was extended from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Wednesday. Following the extension, the announcement was made that Coast Mountain Bus Company and Unifor Locals 111 and 2200 had reached a tentative agreement.

TransLink states that it is, "working towards providing regular schedules for all transit modes tomorrow, Wednesday, Nov. 27."

“Transit workers stood up for one another and fought hard to get a fair contract,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Total service disruption was a last resort, so our members are relieved that they can return to serving the public.”

Details of the agreement will be made available following ratification votes happening in the coming days.

“I’m pleased to announce that Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMBC) has reached a negotiated, tentative deal with Unifor locals 111 and 2200, which represent bus and SeaBus operators and maintenance staff," said Michael McDaniel, President of Coast Mountain Bus Company.

As a result of this agreement, our employees will benefit from a competitive package which features improved wages, benefits, and working conditions."

Customers are advised to check TransLink transit alerts tomorrow to ensure their route is operating on schedule.

There hasn't been a transit strike in Metro Vancouver since 2001, which lasted for a record-breaking 123 days.

Vancouver Is Awesome asked its readers how the three-day full transit strike would affect them. There were a range of comments, and a number of people said that they’d be able to manage without bus service. With that in mind, many people say that they don’t have any other options. Read more here.