Metro Vancouver bus strike prevented as Unifor and Coast Mountain Bus Company reach tentative agreement

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      The union representing 5,900 Metro Vancouver transit workers has cancelled a planned three-day strike.

      This came after Unifor and Coast Mountain Bus Company reached a tentative agreement after eight-and-a-half hours of off and on negotiations at the Westin Bayshore Hotel.

      Terms have not been released.

      The union postponed a midnight deadline by a half hour so talks could continue. 

      As they were in discussions, Unifor members were preparing to set up picket lines.

      “Transit workers stood up for one another and fought hard to get a fair contract,” Unifor national president Jerry Dias said. “Total service disruption was a last resort, so our members are relieved that they can return to serving the public.”

      The contract still requires a ratification vote by members of Unifor Local 111, which represents transit operators, and Unifor Local 2200, which represents skilled tradespeople.

      “This contract recognizes that Unifor members are the backbone of the Metro Vancouver transit system,” Unifor western regional director Gavin McGarrigle said. “We look forward to being an integral part of an expanding system that keeps this region moving.”

      TransLink tweeted that it's "beyond pleased" by the tentative agreement.

      West Vancouver's Blue Bus system and the community shuttles in Langley and on Bowen Island are not represented by Unifor, so they were unaffected by an overtime ban imposed by the two Unifor locals.

      Workers at West Coast Express, the Canada Line, Expo Line, and Millennium Line are also not represented by Unifor.