By Bernie Florido, Civic Affairs Convenor
As of January 22, 2024 all Translink bus and SeaBus service workers in Metro Vancouver are on strike, leaving buses and SeaBuses out of service for at least 48 hours. This comes after a three-week overtime refusal and unsuccessful talks between CUPE 4500 and the Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMBC). The strike impacts transit services and raises concerns about SkyTrain disruptions. Bus drivers show solidarity by not crossing picket lines. Commuters are advised to explore alternatives like carpooling. Major schools maintain regular classes, but industry bodies express broader concerns. The dispute involves wage disparity and workload issues, with CMBC offering an improved wage deal.
According to the Daily Hive, “CMBC offered increased overtime pay, improved benefits, and committed to hiring more supervisors. Unfortunately, the union again refused the improved offer. This is unacceptable and unreasonable. Disruption to customers could end immediately if the union accepted the reasonable offer that is on the table. We remain willing to join the union at the table and urge them to accept this reasonable offer.”
“With the help of our mediator, CUPE 4500 put in an honest effort to find some common ground with Coast Mountain. But we are still not near where we need to be in addressing our key issues,” said Liam O’Neill, the spokesperson for CUPE 4500. “For a fair settlement, CUPE 4500 members need wage discrepancies closed between them and other Translink supervisors, and we need to tackle critical workload issues.”
Unless CMBC and CUPE 4500 reach an agreement early this week, there are no guarantees that bus and SeaBus services will resume by Wednesday morning, and public transit riders should continue to try to plan for alternate ways to get around.