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Here's how transit operators plan to increase their strike action Friday

Unifor has announced that inaction from the employer will cause further transit disruptions by the end of the week from transit operators.
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 Photo: Elana Shepert / Vancouver Is AwesomePhoto: Elana Shepert / Vancouver Is Awesome

Unifor, the union representing bus operators and transit maintenance workers, has announced that inaction from the employer will cause further transit disruptions by the end of the week.

Unifor notes that if the employer cannot bring new offers to the negotiations, it will introduce a one-day overtime ban for transit operators on Friday, Nov. 15. Further, it adds that it will consider additional overtime bans next week, too.

Unifor lead negotiator Gavin McGarrigle and other Unifor representatives held a news conference in New Westminster.

McGarrigle mentioned how, "TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond could see his pay soar by 25% to nearly $500,000 a year, while the head of the Toronto Transit Commission earns $150,000 less each year."

"CMBC President Michael McDaniel has been on the job for about a year and a half and could see his salary soar by 18% to about $372,000," he said.

McGarrigle added that, "both of these transit executives make more than the Prime Minister."

As such, Unifor says it will return to the bargaining table, but that further inaction from CMBC will result in further action from the union.

“We’ve been bargaining for months. Transit workers in Metro Vancouver have been very patient with the employer,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “But ultimately our members have a legal right to withdraw their services if the disrespect from Translink and CMBC continues and a contract cannot be achieved through bargaining alone.”

At issue are working conditions, benefits, and wages.

Since the dispute began, nearly 100 Seabus sailings have been cancelled and the impacts of an overtime ban in maintenance have begun to impact numerous bus routes across the region.

In response to the statement, Michael McDaniel, President of Coast Mountain Bus Company, said that, "Coast Mountain Bus Company welcomes the union’s return to the bargaining table.  We are encouraged by this development and look forward to reaching an agreement which works for all parties involved."

“All of us are committed to providing quality transit services to our customers every day of the year.  I’m optimistic that we can find common ground to ensure this can continue.  Given the formal bargaining process is set to resume, we will not be providing further comment at this time.”