Transit workers have announced strike action would begin with a uniform and overtime ban.
If negotiations between Unifor — the union that represents bus, SeaBus and maintenance workers — and Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMBC), a TransLink subsidiary, do not reach a tentative agreement, the strike action is scheduled to take effect starting at 8 a.m. on Friday, November 1.
“To minimize the disruption to the public while still ramping up pressure on the employer, we have chosen a measured level of strike action in the first phase,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias in a media release.
Transit workers including bus and SeaBus drivers will refuse to wear CMBC uniforms on their routes and CMBC maintenance workers will refuse to work overtime shifts.
“It is a strange experience to see an operator out of uniform, and we hope that starts conversations with the passengers about our struggle with this employer to get a fair deal,” said Unifor Western Regional Director and lead negotiator Gavin McGarrigle in a media release.
In a written statement to The Ubyssey, CMBC said the refusal of overtime work on the part of maintenance workers could result in fewer buses on the road.
“Unifor, the union representing Coast Mountain Bus Company bus operators and maintenance trades, has advised job action in the form of bus maintenance workers not doing overtime work. This could mean reduction in bus and SeaBus service as soon as 8 a.m. tomorrow,” reads the statement.
CMBC also confirmed that SkyTrain, West Coast Express, HandyDART and West Vancouver Blue Bus will operate as normal.
While UBC confirmed they’d be unable to provide alternative forms of transportation for students, staff and faculty who rely on public transit to commute to campus, the university has introduced a map with several temporary pick-up and drop-off locations to encourage carpools.
“Many students, faculty and staff rely on public transit and we appreciate a potential disruption will be challenging,” reads a notice on UBC’s website.