Canada

Striking Sea-to-Sky transit workers reject deal recommended by bargaining committee

VANCOUVER – The union representing transit workers in B.C.’s Sea-to-Sky region says members have rejected a tentative agreement that had been signed by their bargaining committee after mediated negotiations with their employer.

A statement released by Unifor says the tentative deal struck Friday had been unanimously recommended by the Local 114 bargaining committee for transit workers between Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton, but they voted Monday to reject it and continue their strike that began on Jan. 29.

Talks had collapsed earlier this spring between the striking workers and PW Transit, a third-party contractor for BC Transit, with the two sides unable to agree on achieving wage parity with transit workers in Metro Vancouver.

Unifor has said those workers make an average of $3 more per hour than their counterparts who operate buses in the Sea-to-Sky region.

Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor’s western regional director, says members have the final say in adopting their contract and “the employer fell short in closing the gap that exists between transit workers doing the same job in Vancouver.”

A representative for PW Transit did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

HandyDART operations in Squamish have continued throughout the job action because they are considered an essential service, but all other transit in the Sea-to-Sky region has been put on hold.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 30, 2022.

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