By Tiffany Crawford/Special to the Langley Advance
Metro Vancouver transit operators voted in favour of strike late Thursday evening after collective bargaining talks broke down with Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMBC).
The CMBC and about 4,700 transit operators, skilled trades, SeaBus and support workers represented by Unifor Locals 111 and 2200 had been working hard to renew the collective agreement for the past several weeks.
“While the result of the strike vote was a “yes,” the union has not given any indication of providing strike notice and we don’t anticipate any disruption to service at this time,” the CMBC said in a statement Thursday.
“We remain committed to reaching an acceptable negotiated settlement. To protect the integrity of the process, we will not be negotiating through media,” the CMBC said.
Unifor Local 111 president Nathan Woods said last week that Coast Mountain Bus Company — a TransLink subsidiary — has refused to table what it calls a fair wage offer in bargaining that started February 17 and broke off April 6.
Unifor Local 2200 president Joe Elworthy, representing mechanics, SeaBus, maintenance and other workers, said that “to ask them to accept a load of concessions is just not on.”
If the workers do walk off the job, Metro Vancouver residents who rely on the bus or SeaBus will be most affected by the labour dispute. The SkyTrain will continue to operate.
With a file from Brian Morton and Almas Meherally
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