Fourth Mediation Attempt Upcoming for CMBC and Transit Workers’ Union
Wednesday, December, 4, 2019
In a last ditch effort to avoid a bus system shutdown, Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMBC) has requested a fourth mediation session with Unifor, the union that represents transit workers.
According to CMBC President Michael McDaniel, “CMBC is awaiting a response from the union. Over 350,000 people take the bus in Metro Vancouver every weekday. ”
On November 20, the union announced that a “complete system shutdown” was scheduled for the end of the month if a deal was not reached. It went on to explain that a complete shutdown would entail nobody reporting for work and picketing would take place at all locations in the Metro Vancouver area.
Workers would then return to their jobs and full-time duties on Saturday, November 30.
In an effort to prevent the shutdown, CMBC offered to discuss its new proposal with “significant improvements to working conditions, including recovery time” in mediation. The new deal includes a wage increase of about $6, 100 over the next four years for top annual wage operators. The increase would bring their annual salary to $69, 900. Skilled trades would receive an increase of $10,000 during that same timeframe, bringing their annual salary to $88,000.
According to McDaniel, “Wages remain the main sticking point between the two parties.” He noted that if the union’s salary demands were met, it would result in fare increases, as well as additional fees and taxes.
The current situation with Unifor’s threat for a work stoppage is separate from TransLink’s bargaining issues, which is also headed toward a workers’ strike.