Striking transit workers

Transit workers in Comox and Campbell River on strike

By Mick Sweetman,  CHLY 101.7 FM Nanaimo, through an LJI grant from Canada-info.ca

Transit workers in Comox and Campbell River went on strike Friday morning citing wages as the key reason for the job action.

While this shuts down public transportation for tens of thousands of people, the union and employer agreed to keep operating the HandyDART buses for people with disabilities.

Unifor national representative Gavin Davies says the three major stumbling blocks are the rate of pay for current employees, a proposal by the employer to pay new hires less, which he says will make it harder to recruit and retain drivers and lead to drivers working more overtime, and funding issues.

A statement by Pacific Western Transit says that the company offered wage increases that were higher percentages than those in recent BC Public Sector Union agreements, with an 18 per cent increase in overall compensation and a 15 and a half per cent increase to wages over three years.