NOTE: This story contains changes to the originally posted version. The service in question is only in Victoria.
A strike by operators and staff of BC Transit’s handyDART bus service in Victoria for people with disabilities has been delayed until at least next Thursday.
First Canada, which is contracted by BC Transit to provide the service, has applied to the BC Labour Relations Board for an amendment to a previously agreed upon essential services designation plan. The move prevents job action from happening on Monday (Jan. 22) and forces the union representing workers to re-serve 72-hour strike notice, likely that day, said Unifor Local 333 president Ben Williams.
“We hope that First Canada uses this unexpected delay to reconsider their position and return to the bargaining table with the union with a new position that will treat handyDART transit operators fairly and avert a strike altogether,” Williams said in a release late Friday.
He stated that unless there is significant progress over the weekend or even tentative agreement on a new contract, the union will issue strike notice as soon as possible. If that is Monday, no service interruptions would happen until at least Thursday (Jan. 25).
Any job action would not affect other BC Transit services in the region.