Bus, seabus workers conduct strike vote today

Bus drivers and operators from across Metro Vancouver will be holding a strike vote today.

“The strike vote takes place following months of negotiations with Coast Mountain (Bus Company),” said Unifor Western Regional director Gavin McGarrigle, in a press release.

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Last week, Unifor locals 111 and 2200 — which represent more than 5,000 bus drivers, Seabus operators and transit maintenance workers — announced they would be holding the vote as talks with Coast Mountain had broken down.

According to the union, its members have been working without a contract since March 31. Unifor has been in talks with Coast Mountain to better transit workers’ wages, benefits and working conditions.

The strike vote comes ahead of the resumption of negotiations with Coast Mountain on Oct. 15. The vote takes place today at Aria Banquet Hall in Surrey from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

If the majority of union members vote in favour, a strike mandate would be in effect for 90 days. The union would also provide a 72hour notice of strike action.

The last time that transit workers were on strike was in 2001, when they walked off the job for four months.

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