The transit strike has been happening since November 1st, 2019 after the drivers rejected to wear their uniform to works, these acts of protest did not greatly affect the commuter. TransLink workers are unsatisfied with the current working conditions and as a result, they choose to strike for more benefits, pay and more rest. With 99% of Metro Vancouver Coast Mountain bus workers in agreement of these terms, a strike is bound to happen. There was a vote in which 86% of the workers agreed that they should strike in order to get their demands met. In total, the conditions for the contract by the union was 600 million dollars.
One major fear for this strike is that the innocent commuters who rely on public transit in order to generate their income will be the most heavily affected. Not to mention the fear of the highways and the streets being grid locked with private cars because people who used to go to work by bus had to drive their cars to work, causing traffic around the city. These fears are escalated for the students in the university or college. According to the UBC representative Matthew Ramsey, there are about 80 thousand students need to go to the university by bus. How could they be on time in such a severe situation? If the weather is bad, university students may not even be able to receive their education.
Some stipulate that it could threaten Vancouver’s economy as without affordable transportation over an extended period of time, people may fail to generate income to support families and local businesses. Fortunately, the government realized that they should stop the strike as soon as possible and they had an agreement and a contract with the union. Before this, there were many workers who still continued to work. To meet worker demands, the contract details the request for higher wages, paid vacation, pension plan, bus passes for the workers and their relatives, membership in Unifor Local 111, paid training for Conventional Transit Operators, and extra wages for hourly late for Community Transit Operators.
As a student, I feel glad to see the final agreement between the Union and the government. This event shows that, the actions of the government can decide the outcome of the entire city.
Written by Sherry Xie