Unifor locals representing transit operators and maintenance staff issue 72 hours' strike notice on TransLink

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      The prospects of a bus and SeaBus strike looms larger after two union locals served strike notice on the employer.

      Members of Unifor Local 111 and Unifor Local 2200 could start taking job action at midnight on Thursday (October 31) evening.

      Unifor represents more than 5,000 workers at Coast Mountain Bus Company, which is a wholly owned TransLink subsidiary.

      “Unifor’s bargaining committees are prepared to stay at the table all week to reach a deal,” Unifor western regional director and lead negotiator Gavin McGarrigle said in a news release. “The company’s lack of movement leaves us little choice but to set a strike deadline.”

      McGarrigle isn't timid about having his members walk off the job to press their demands.

      Less than two months after he became the western regional director, Unifor launched a 17-day strike against six Crown corporations in Saskatchewan. The parties settled their differences earlier this month.

      Unifor president Jerry Dias accused the company of "showing little respect for the difficult working conditions that our members must face every day".

      In 2001, Unifor shut down the bus system for four months when transit operators went on strike.

      TransLink issued a statement saying its bus company has been working hard to renew an agreement.

      "At this time, the unions have not informed CMBC what form the job action would take," TransLink said. "CMBC remains committed to reaching an acceptable negotiated settlement and is ready to return to the bargaining table as soon as possible."

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