TransLink is preparing customers after Unifor, the union representing bus operators and transit maintenance workers, announced that Thursday’s transit strike talks failed to reach a fair resolution.
Unifor’s overtime ban for bus operators went into effect this morning. The action is in addition to the ongoing overtime ban for maintenance employees and a driver uniform ban which have been in effect since Nov. 1.
TransLink notes that customers should prepare for disruptions to bus service throughout the day. Specifically, it estimates that the union action will result in reductions in bus services of up to 10 per cent.
However, the transit authority hasn’t clarified exactly what this reduction will look like. It notes that job action will be difficult to predict, but that some routes will have gaps in service. As such, overcrowding is expected.
“Providing an accurate idea of which routes will be affected tomorrow is difficult because Coast Mountain Bus Company is constantly rearranging resources to reduce the impact to customers as much as possible. We recognize there will be a customer impact, and the impact will change minute to minute as Coast Mountain operations adjust,” Daniel Mountain, TransLink media relations, told Vancouver Is Awesome in an email Thursday.
“Overtime is sometimes necessary for bus operators in every major transit agency. The nature of bus routes being in traffic with variable amounts of passengers means that overtime is necessary for an efficient bus system. Coast Mountain Bus Company expects all operators to finish their full run to allow passengers to reach their destination before ending their shift.”
Customers are advised to give themselves extra time to travel to their destination, as well as heck the Transit Alerts page for updates on service levels.
On Wednesday, CUPE 7000, the union representing 900 SkyTrain workers on the Expo and Millennium lines, says negotiations with the BC Rapid Transit Company (SkyTrain) had reached a deadlock and that it would go to union members to seek direction for its next steps.
Canada Line and West Coast Express workers are represented by other unions.
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