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Bus, SeaBus workers return to talks, as SkyTrain labour unrest looms

Last Updated Nov 14, 2019 at 11:03 am PDT

FILE - Further transit service suspensions include buses, SkyTrain, SeaBus, and West Coast Express, beginning this week. (Source: Facebook/Translink)

Unifor and Coast Mountain Bus Company are back at the bargaining table today

Talks between CUPE and the B.C. Rapid Transit Company broke down on Tuesday

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The labour situation for transit users across Vancouver could get a lot more complicated very soon.

As bargaining between the union representing Metro Vancouver bus drivers, SeaBus workers and the Coast Mountain Bus Company resumes, talks have broken off between the union representing Skytrain workers and the B.C. Rapid Transit Company.

CUPE isn’t saying when its 900 members could walk off the job, but talks broke down on Tuesday over several key issues.

RELATED: Both sides in Metro Vancouver’s transit strike continue to negotiate after failing to reach deal

It says the company failed to address issues of a sick plan, staffing levels and forced overtime and didn’t offer fair wages.

Michel Ladrak, president of B.C. Rapid Transit, says the company remains committed to the bargaining process and has suggested that mediation may help solve the current issues.

Union members have not yet taken a strike vote and their contract expired at the end of August.

When it comes to Unifor’s continuing job action and the SeaBus, there were six scheduled cancellations Thursday afternoon and evening because of the ongoing action.

The two sides returned to the table for the first time Wednesday after job action began Nov. 1 that has caused many SeaBus cancellations and affected some bus service.

The union agreed to another round of bargaining but warned it would add transit drivers to the overtime ban by Friday, affecting as much as 15 per cent of bus service, if there was no progress on issues including wages, benefits and working conditions.

With files from Marcella Bernardo and the Canadian Press