Montreal’s transit workers vote 99 per cent in favour of pressure tactics
By The Canadian Press
Montreal bus and subway drivers have voted 99 per cent in favour of pressure tactics that may include a general strike as their union and the city’s transit company work toward a new contract.
Their union, which is affiliated with the Canadian Union of Public Employees, had urged the 4,500 members to support their bargaining committee with a strong mandate in negotiations to replace contracts that expired in January.
The union says the key issue in the talks are what it calls “completely unrealistic” schedules for bus drivers.
Union president Renato Carlone says “poorly planned trips” are stressing passengers who are passing their frustrations on to the drivers and this is creating workplace health and safety issues.
The management of sick employees and pensions are other sticking points in the negotiations.
The Societe de transport de Montreal (STM) posted a message on its website saying the union vote does not trigger a strike and that bargaining sessions are ongoing and frequent.
The STM also notes that advance notice of seven working must be given before a possible walkout begins.
Maintenance employees have already voted to refuse to work overtime next week, unless there is progress in their negotiations.