Update 1 p.m.: Talks have broken down
THE Coast Mountain Bus Company said in a statement on Thursday morning that 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.
They said that this could mean reduction in bus and SeaBus service as soon as 8 a.m. on Friday.
The company added: “Regardless of the job action, many of our services will be unaffected: SkyTrain, Canada Line, West Coast Express, HandyDART, West Vancouver Blue Bus and other contracted services will continue operating normally.
“We will do everything possible to keep our customers informed, as soon as possible, on service disruptions. To stay informed, customers can sign up for Transit Alerts (alerts.translink.ca) specific to their routes, follow @TransLink on Twitter and check translink.ca.”
MEANWHILE, Michael McDaniel, President of Coast Mountain Bus Company, said in a statement that the company is “negotiating in good faith and has made fair and reasonable offers recognizing the vital role our employees play in the region.”
He added: “If the union proceeds with job action, it will only punish transit users in Metro Vancouver, many of whom rely on our system for their daily commute. Without maintenance overtime, we will see bus and SeaBus service cancellations, affecting customers.”
McDaniel said: “CMBC has been bargaining with Unifor since August 1. When talks broke off, we asked the union to participate in third-party mediation, but they have refused.
“CMBC is now back at the table and our current offer includes significantly better wages and benefits, and addresses working conditions. This package would be greater than most other public sector settlements in B.C. I urge the union to hold off on job action until a deal is done.”