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

Transit workers voted Monday to reject a tentative agreement and continue their strike that began Jan. 29

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The union representing transit workers in British Columbia’s Sea to Sky region says members rejected a tentative agreement that was signed by their bargaining committee after negotiated negotiations with their employer.

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A statement released by Unifor says Friday’s tentative agreement was unanimously recommended by Local 114’s bargaining committee for transit workers between Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton, but workers voted Monday to reject it and continue their strike which began on January 29.

Talks broke down earlier this spring between the strikers and PW Transit, a third-party BC Transit contractor, after the two sides could not agree on wage parity with Metro Vancouver transit workers.

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

Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor’s West Regional Director, says members have the final say in agreeing their contract and that “the employer has failed to bridge the gap between workers in transit doing the same job in Vancouver”.

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

HandyDart operations in Squamish continued throughout the action as it is considered an essential service, but all other public transport in the Sea to Sky region has been suspended.

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