One union steps up transit strike, second holds strike vote

More transit woes loom

The union representing almost 5,000 Metro Vancouver transit employees announces the next steps in its job action against Coast Mountain Bus Company today as drivers resume an overtime ban, potentially affecting many busy bus routes.

Unifor says it will move to the next phase of job action because Coast Mountain, which handles Metro Vancouver transit on behalf of TransLink, has failed to make any new offers and talks remain stalled.

Bus drivers, SeaBus operators and mechanics launched limited strike action Nov. 1 including an overtime ban by mechanics, and expanded the ban to add bus drivers when talks broke off last week.

SeaBus sailings have been affected since the start of the strike, although no cancellations are currently slated, and Coast Mountain is warning of bus disruptions today after the drivers' rotating ban affected about 10 per cent of routes on Friday and Monday.

Escalation in the strike comes as CUPE Local 7000, which represents SkyTrain workers on two rapid transit lines, says results of a strike vote are due Thursday, although a mediator remains involved in those talks and job action is not immediately expected.

The union says its 900 members are seeking better wages and working conditions and decided to hold the strike vote when the employer, B.C. Rapid Transit Company, rejected new bargaining dates.

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