A bus is pictured in downtown Vancouver, Friday, November, 1, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

UPDATE: TransLink disputes severity of bus delays caused by transit strike

Union says there have been 41 disruptions on Thursday

TransLink is disputing that the transit strike has caused 41 bus route disruptions in Metro Vancouver Thursday.

The transit authority said there was a “reduction in frequency” on 11 routes, and buses were sent to to fill in gaps on less frequent bus routes, so no one was waiting an exceptionally long time. TransLink does not employ the striking employees, directly, but Coast Mountain Bus Company staff work in TransLink’s network.

However, the union representing 5,000 striking transit workers in Metro Vancouver said the job action has led to 41 interruptions on Thursday.

Gavin McGarrigle, the western regional director of Unifor, said most of the cancellations were out of the Vancouver bus depot. Five of the runs affected were in Surrey.

“There’s been some disruption of trolleys, and buses mostly out of Vancouver,” McGarrigle told Black Press Media by phone. There have been more than 60 SeaBus cancellations since the job action began on Friday.

So far, the job action has seen bus operators shun uniforms, while a overtime ban is in place for maintenance workers.

READ MORE: Strike action begins among Metro Vancouver transit workers

READ MORE: Transit strike would mean no uniforms, overtime for maintenance workers: union

READ MORE: Negotiations break down between Metro Vancouver bus drivers, employer as strike looms

McGarrigle said talks with Coast Mountain Bus Company, which operates the buses in TransLink’s system, have not resumed.

“CMBC has reached out and they’ve indicated they want to talk about the portion of the outstanding issues,” McGarrigle said.

Unifor is asking for $600 million in increased wages and improved working conditions.

McGarrigle said the union won’t return to the table until CMBC is willing to discuss guaranteed break time for all drivers, and to compare how their workers are treated in comparison to those in Toronto.

Coast Mountain Bus Company president Michael McDaniel has said their worker’s salaries are compared to B.C. public sector ones, not ones in Toronto.

However, when deciding executive compensations, TransLink and CMBC have used Metrolinx, which operates transit in the Greater Toronto area, as a point of comparison.

McGarrigle said the company’s actions throughout the week-long job action have created a “sour” mood among transit workers.

“Regardless of how the dispute ends, what the company has done here has really hurt labour relations,” he said.

In a statement late Thursday morning, McDaniel said the union has made “no attempt” to find common ground.

“Yesterday, Coast Mountain Bus Company formally asked the union to come back to the bargaining table to discuss working conditions for bus operators, but they have once again refused,” McDaniel said.

“We’re ready to talk at the bargaining table but we can’t negotiate with ourselves.”

READ MORE: Metro Vancouver transit strike prompts cancellations as premier won’t intervene

READ MORE: SeaBus services cancelled on first day of Vancouver transit dispute


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Construction underway for new Cloverdale elementary school

The $33 million school is to seat 655 students

George Garrett retires from Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society board

Society completes more than 58,000 trips since 2016

B.C. families financially affected by pandemic eligible for grocery gift cards

Program open to struggling families in Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley communities

Two Surrey schools report COVID-19 exposures, including second contact for Panorama Ridge

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

VIDEO: Shots fired outside Langley gas station that was scene of 2018 homicide

No reports of injuries in Saturday evening incident

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Most Read