March 5th, 2024

Special mediator appointed in Metro Vancouver transit dispute that stranded thousands

By The Canadian Press on January 24, 2024.

Buses line the Vancouver Transit Centre as transit workers from the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 4500 strike in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, Jan. 22, 2024. Bus and SeaBus services in Metro Vancouver are set to resume this morning after the end of a 48-hour strike by supervisors that ground Coast Mountain Bus Company routes to a standstill. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ethan Cairns

VANCOUVER – The British Columbia government has appointed a special mediator in an attempt to end the labour dispute that paralyzed bus service in Metro Vancouver for two days this week.

Labour Minister Harry Bains says veteran mediator Vince Ready will work with CUPE local 4500 and the Coast Mountain Bus Company starting tomorrow after both sides agreed to the process.

Bains says in a statement that Ready will work with the parties for six days and if an agreement can’t be reached by then, he’ll issue non-binding recommendations and both sides will have five days to either accept or reject the proposal.

The minister says Ready is highly regarded in the labour relations community, with a distinguished record of settling disputes, and the parties have all the tools they need to reach an agreement with his appointment.

Strike action on Monday and Tuesday affected hundreds of thousands of commuters when the union representing about 180 transit supervisors picketed outside transit stations, preventing buses from leaving on their routes.

The Labour Relations Board is hearing a complaint from the union over the next two days, alleging Coast Mountain unfairly tried to reduce the impact of its job action.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 24, 2024.

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