Unionized office employees at Coast Mountain Bus Company vote to strike

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Vancouver public transit bus / Shutterstock

Unionized office and administrative workers at Coast Mountain Bus Company have overwhelmingly voted 91 per cent in favour of job action after their employer announced contract concessions.

The union and its members are at odds with the company’s proposal to dismantle employees’ retiree benefits and lead to a two-tier contract.

“COPE 378 members have sent a clear message that Coast Mountain Bus’ attempts to attack their retirement benefits are mean-spirited and unfair,” said COPE 378 Vice-President Heather Lee.

Coast Mountain’s proposals would ask long-serving members to choose to accept a payout instead of retirement benefits. According to union representatives, “the amount would not even cover current MSP premiums for an individual, much less extended benefits for dependent family members.”

Members with less than 10 years of service would be forced to accept the payout. The final result would be a two-tier agreement where any new hires would get no retirement benefits.

“We hope this vote shows CMBC it’s time to get back to the bargaining table to reach a fair and reasonable agreement that won’t leave employees unable to take care of their health in retirement,” Lee added.

COPE 378 represents over 400 people at Coast Mountain Bus Company, including office, administrative, customer service, training, and transit security employees. The Coast Mountain Bus Company is an operating branch of TransLink.

At this time, it is not known how a strike will potentially impact transit services.

Image: Bus on bridge via Shutterstock

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