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

In 2019, roughly one person died every three days in Surrey due to illicit drug overdoses

123 people died in the city in 2019, down from the previous year

BC Liberals firing at NDP due to fact new Surrey hospital not in budget

But Surrey-Panorama MLA Jinny Sims says business case is needed first

United Nations designates Surrey a ‘Tree City’

Surrey is one of 59 cities in the world to receive the designation

White Rock seeks assistance for park rain damage

City applies for provincial funding following closure of Ruth Johnson Park and ravine

Surrey RCMP looking for missing boy, age 14

Brayden Ritchat, 14, last seen in the 10800-block of 141st Street in Whalley on Feb. 21

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

B.C. landlord can’t serve eviction notice because tenant is in jail

Homeowner baffled at arbitrator decision based on notice of hearing not being served properly

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Most Read