March 1st, 2024

Union warns of new 72-hour Metro Vancouver bus strike if deal isn’t reached next week

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 union representing transit supervisors for Coast Mountain Bus Company says it will launch a new 72-hour strike stopping Metro Vancouver buses from operating if a tentative deal isn’t reached by next week.

The warning comes after the B.C. government appointed a special mediator in a bid to end the dispute that prompted a two-day shutdown of bus services that ended this morning.

CUPE Local 4500 says in a statement that it welcomes the appointment of Vince Ready, but if a tentative agreement on a new contract for about 180 supervisors isn’t reached by 12:01 a.m. on Feb. 3, they will withdraw services for three days.

It also says that if the Labour Relations Board allows it, picketing will be expanded to SkyTrain stations.

The union says this would effectively shut down buses, the SeaBus, and all SkyTrain services.

A different union that represents SkyTrain workers has previously said its members wouldn’t cross pickets.

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

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said the union wanted a deal by next Wednesday. In fact, it wants the deal next week.

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