No buses in Metro Vancouver for 3 days next week as union escalates job action

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Transit in Surrey Photo: Ray Hudson

Vancouver: The union representing almost 5,000 Metro Vancouver transit employees has announced a three-day shutdown of bus service next week.

The job action against Coast Mountain Bus Company, which handles transit on behalf of TransLink, follows an overtime ban by mechanics and drivers and means buses will remain parked next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (Nov 27 to 29).

Unifor spokesman Gavin McGarrigle says the union will host a public rally at the headquarters of TransLink a week Thursday to demand action and to avoid an escalation of further job action the following week.

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.

McGarrigle says while the dispute is having a significant impact on passengers the blame lies with TransLink as workers fight for better conditions for themselves and a less-crowded transit system for those who depend on it.

Coast Mountain says in a statement that the union is leaving hundreds of thousands of customers without service while it refuses to accept a historic contract offer.

The Canadian Press