Greater Victoria bus operators authorize union strike if necessary

BC Transit and union to return to talks Friday, strike is 'last resort:' Union president

About three-quarters of Greater Victoria’s 650 transit operators and workers voted 98 per cent in favour of strike action, should talks with BC Transit break down in the coming weeks.

“We have no intentions of having a strike vote right now,” said Ben Williams, Canadian Auto Workers Local 333 president.

“We understand the dependence on BC Transit and the hassle that would cause the riders, and it’s definitely a last resort,” he said.

Union representatives will return to the bargaining table with BC Transit on Friday (Sept. 14).

Negotiations stalled last week after union and BC Transit reps failed to agree on reasonable wage increases, contracting out and contract language, Williams said.

Additional bargaining dates are scheduled for the coming weeks into October.

The union has been without a collective agreeement since March 31.