Transit union threatens full system shutdown

Jan. 22 pegged as strike day, unless B.C. Transit returns to bargaining: union president

The union representing some 650 B.C. Transit employees will grind Greater Victoria’s public transportation network to a halt on Jan. 22 unless B.C. Transit returns to the bargaining table.

Ben Williams, president of Canadian Auto Workers local 333, said the union feels it’s the only way management will get the message.

“We’re hopeful that we can get a negotiated settlement without withdrawal,” he said. “The last thing we want to do is disrupt the riders in Greater Victoria, but it just doesn’t appear B.C. Transit is going to co-operate without us escalating the job action.”

The threat of a full, one-day shutdown of the transit system is the latest tactic in the union’s ongoing job action.

Drivers have indefinitely halted all overtime work, cancelling periodic bus service every day. As well, drivers continue to wear street clothes rather than uniforms while on the job.

Williams said the hope is that further job action will bring pressure on B.C. Transit from frustrated local politicians and the public to get return to the table and reach a settlement.

According to the union, the contract dispute centres around a proposal to replace the current fleet of community shuttle buses with five slightly larger shuttle buses – the Vicinity – made in China. Community shuttle drivers require less training and are paid $5.71 less an hour.

In recent interviews with the News, B.C. Transit spokeswoman Meribeth Burton said the sticking point remains wage increases and benefits, which are not in line with the B.C. government’s net zero mandate.

A spokesperson for B.C. Transit was not immediately available.

CAW 333 represents bus drivers, trades and maintenance workers in Greater Victoria. Members have been without a contract since March 31, 2012.

– with files from Daniel Palmer and Roszan Holmen

kslavin@saanichnews.com

 

Just Posted

More buoys allowed for Brentwood Bay

Proposed number rises from 40 to 60

Victoria airport reaches nearly two million passengers in 2017

This year expected to see additional growth

Peninsula speed skating duo aiming for the national stage

Pair opted to train in long track skating this season for the first time

Tent city resident just wants a home

Roving tent city has made its way to Central Saanich

Pellets shot at window of B.C. Transit bus

Bus was travelling near Craigflower and Admirals roads Wednesday morning when window was hit

Sidney’s Salish Sea aquarium to close for maintenance

First extended closure for the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea since it opened in 2009

Butchart Gardens is hiring now and paying more

Wages start at $15, job fair Feb. 20

Cash still needed for Stelly’s Cross Path

MLA Olsen wants more specifics first

Injured parachutist wants stolen backpack back

Bag contained important video files of 2017 parachuting incident

Winds up to 100 km/h expected for Vancouver Island

“If you are near the water, it is important to be ‘Coastsmart,’ by staying above the high tide.”

Island-filmed TV series gets third season

Crews returning to Parksville Qualicum Beach to film Chesapeake Shores in the spring

Bank of Canada hikes interest rate to 1.25%, cites strong economic data

The rate increase is expected to prompt Canada’s large banks to raise their prime lending rates

Trump aces mental aptitude test designed by Canadian immigrant

“This is a good example, I think, that will be helpful to change views about immigration. And maybe for Mr. Trump himself to consider immigrants as contributors to advancing science, advancing our societies.”

Rival Koreas agree to form first unified Olympic team

The rival Koreas took major steps toward reducing their bitter animosity

Most Read