Skip to main content

Passengers board a bus in downtown Vancouver, on Nov. 1, 2019.

JONATHAN HAYWARD/The Canadian Press

Bus service reductions or cancellations hit 25 of Metro Vancouver’s busiest bus routes Friday as job action by Unifor maintenance workers and drivers entered a second week.

Translink says a majority of the reductions affected “high-frequency routes,” including several servicing the University of British Columbia.

“Coast Mountain Bus Company is making every effort to ensure reliable service, but the union’s job action will continue to have impacts on the system,” said Translink in a statement.

Story continues below advertisement

A ban on overtime was imposed Nov. 1, when 5,000 mechanics and transit operators launched limited job action against Coast Mountain, which handles bus services on behalf of TransLink. The ban has been blamed for dozens of SeaBus route cancellations between Vancouver and the North Shore, and prompted bus delays or cancellations on several dozen bus routes for the first time on Thursday.

Wages, benefits and working conditions are key issues in the dispute.

“The union has been asked to return to bargaining and take part in mediation, but they have repeatedly refused,” Coast Mountain said in a statement.

No talks have been held since Oct. 31, when negotiations collapsed, but Premier John Horgan warned both sides Thursday that a long dispute like the last strike in 2001 won’t be tolerated.

“I’ll remind you that the last time the Official Opposition was in government there was a four-month transit strike in Vancouver and I can assure you that won’t happen on my watch,” Horgan said while attending an event in Courtenay.

The comments came just a day after Horgan said collective bargaining should be allowed to run its course and his government had no immediate plans to intervene.

Unifor said bus disruptions Friday were linked to the overtime ban by maintenance staff and would affect 64 route segments.

Story continues below advertisement

If the overtime ban is extended to transit operators, Unifor lead negotiator Gavin McGarrigle has said it has the potential to immediately affect up to 15 per cent of bus service across the region.

The union did not anticipate any escalation of job action until at least after Remembrance Day, he said.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Related topics

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter