Impacts of Central Okanagan bus strike felt in Vernon | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Impacts of Central Okanagan bus strike felt in Vernon

Transit workers from the Central Okanagan brought their message to Vernon today, Nov. 14, 2016.
November 15, 2016 - 11:07 AM

VERNON - A public transit strike in Kelowna is having an effect on bus riders from the North Okanagan.

Striking transit workers from the Central Okanagan brought their message to Vernon today, Nov. 15, by riding the UBCO Connector (#90) bus and speaking with passengers.

Bus drivers in Vernon have a different contract and are not on strike.

Eric Solland, on the negotiating committee for the Amalgamated Transit Union local 1722, says many passengers were not aware that bus service would discontinue once they reached the roundabout at UBC Okanagan in Kelowna.

Solland says some of the passengers had not been told in Vernon and were expecting transit service in Kelowna.

“I tried to ensure passage for those riders but they chose to stay on the bus and come back to Vernon,” he says. “Half of their morning was wasted.”

Of roughly 25 passengers, six rode the bus back from UBCO after learning there was no further bus service, he says. The 27 transit workers who rode the bus paid their fare for both directions, and also paid the cash fare for other passengers, Solland says.

After handing out flyers and speaking with passengers on the UBCO Connector, workers set up a picket line outside the transit yard and office on 43 Street in Vernon.

“This is an information picket only. We are not impeding anybody or hampering anybody. We are putting out our information,” Solland says.

The union is asking its employer, First Canada, for equal pay regardless of bus size, a tiered wage system that includes a cost of living raise, and a retirement package.

B.C. Transit contracts public transit services to First Canada.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2016

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