Job action could start as early as today, Sept. 1, after Central Okanagan transit workers voted in favour of striking and delivered 72-hour strike notice.

Municipalities in the region since asked the provincial labour ministry to intervene, so they can avoid transit disruptions in the Central Okanagan, according to a news release.

Cities in the region, B.C. Transit and its third-party contractor, First Canada, received a 72-hour strike notice from the Central Okanagan transit workers' union, Aug. 30.

Central Okanagan conventional and handyDART buses serve Kelowna, West Kelowna, Westbank First Nation, Lake Country and Peachland. Those communities jointly issued a press release on Aug. 31, urging transit users to make alternative plans in case drivers take to the picket lines.

"We strongly encourage both parties to find a fair and reasonable resolution as transit is a very important service for the citizens of the Central Okanagan," reads a news release, adding that only First Canada and the union are involved in contract negotiations.

READ MORE: Kelowna, Vernon transit workers vote in favour of potential strike

B.C. Transit and the municipalities are not actually party to the dispute. That's between the union and First Transit, which is the contractor by B.C. Transit to provide the service. The municipalities help fund the system and set service levels.

The Kelowna-area transit workers aren't the only ones who have voted in favour of potential strike action.

Vernon and Salmon Arm transit workers, represented by a different union, voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike if a new contract agreement can't be reached with First Canada. reached out for comment from First Canada but has not received a response.

— This story was updated at 8:37 a.m., Sept. 2, 2022. A previous version of this story incorrectly attributed the press release to B.C. Transit, rather than the regional municipalities.

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