March 3rd, 2024

Bus firm and union agree to mediator’s plan to avert Metro Vancouver strike

By The Canadian Press on February 1, 2024.

Buses line the Vancouver Transit Centre as transit workers from the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 4500 strike in Vancouver on Monday, Jan. 22, 2024. The B.C. Labour Relations Board says Metro Vancouver's regional bus operator breached rules by using replacement workers during last month's transit strike that paralyzed bus and SeaBus services. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ethan Cairns

VANCOUVER – Coast Mountain Bus Company and the union representing its transit supervisors both say they have accepted the recommendations of a mediator in an agreement that looks set to avert another Metro Vancouver bus strike.

A statement from the bus firm’s president, Michael McDaniel, says the next step is to sign a memorandum of agreement before the ratification process.

The announcement comes less than two hours after CUPE 4500, the union representing more than 180 supervisors, issued a statement saying it would back the recommendations of special mediator Vince Ready.

The union had set a deadline of 12:01 a.m. on Saturday for a tentative deal to be reached, or it would launch a 72-hour strike, following a stoppage that shut down bus and SeaBus services last week.

Union spokesman Liam O’Neill says in a statement that Ready’s proposal doesn’t “completely address” the local’s issues, but offers the best path for a mutually acceptable settlement.

Neither the union nor the bus firm described the terms of the tentative agreement.

The previous two-day strike by more than 180 supervisors was able to halt Coast Mountain services because drivers represented by a different union refused to cross picket lines.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 1, 2024.

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