WHISTLER—Unifor is encouraged that the employer has agreed to meet again with a mediator to negotiate an end to the 15-week-old job action at PW Transit in Squamish, Whistler, and Pemberton.
“Mediation in the context of free collective bargaining is how this dispute is going to be solved,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “We’re eager to get back to the bargaining table and find a resolution as soon as possible.”
In negotiations on May 11, 2022, B.C. Transit’s third-party contractor PW Transit rejected the union’s proposal for a roadmap to parity by converting a previously offered signing bonus into wages and adding a small adjustment to those wages in 2024, says Unifor. At the time, the employer also rejected meeting again with the mediator.
“Negotiations on May 11 moved the parties closer to a deal,” said McGarrigle. “I’m confident that, if the employer can creatively acknowledge a reasonable road map to wage parity during the life of the next agreement, we’ll have a deal.”
Both parties met independently with the Minister of Labour Harry Bains this week and the government has indicated that it has faith in the mediation process as already outlined. The minister has not appointed a “special mediator” with the associated restrictions as recently requested by the employer.
Unifor Local 114’s bargaining committee and PW Transit representatives will meet again with mediator Dave Schaub on Friday, May 27, 2022.
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.