Metro Vancouver bus, SeaBus workers to hold strike vote Oct. 10

Vancouver bus Translink
. Global News

Metro Vancouver transit riders could find themselves in the lurch as talks break down between bus drivers and mechanics and their employer.

Unifor locals 111 and 2200, which represents more than 5,000 bus drivers, SeaBus operators and maintenance workers say talks have broken down with the Coast Mountain Bus Company.

The union has scheduled a strike vote for Oct. 10.

READ MORE: Vancouver bus drivers and Sea Bus operators vote 98% in favour of a strike mandate

The union says employees have been working without a contract since March 31. Workers say they want better wages, benefits and working conditions.

WATCH: Greater Vancouver bus drivers threaten to strike (Aired: April, 2016)

Greater Vancouver bus drivers threaten to strike
Greater Vancouver bus drivers threaten to strike

Unifor points to an 18 per cent jump in ridership between 2016 and 2018 and a 36 per cent increase in overcrowded bus trips over the same period as signs that workers are being stretched.

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In a statement, TransLink said it had been working hard to reach a collective agreement.

“As of earlier today, the parties have stepped away from the bargaining table to determine their next steps,” said TransLink.

“CMBC does not anticipate any disruption to service at this time. CMBC remains committed to reaching an acceptable negotiated settlement.”

READ MORE: Blue Bus drivers in West Vancouver vote to strike

Unifor and the Coast Mountain Bus Company reached a three-year deal in the summer of 2016. That came after three months of labour uncertainty following a 98 per cent strike vote in April, 2016.

If Coast Mountain Bus Company workers do strike, it will be the first time since workers walked off the job during a four-month transit strike in 2001.