Protrans UNIFOR Job Action - BCGEU

Respect the picket lines! UNIFOR job action and Lower Mainland Transit Dispute - UPDATE

Here is an on how you might be affected by the UNIFOR job action/ transit strike and what the BCGEU has in place to protect you.

As you know, UNIFOR has been taking limited job action for over two weeks now, which we understand may escalate next week to include picketing if a deal is not reached. While the job action has not directly impacted BCGEU members at Protrans to date, wage protection has been approved and a plan has been developed in case the potential job action next week impacts your ability to report to work.

As Union members, the expectation is that you please respect the UNIFOR picket line, and do not cross it! What does this mean?

Not crossing the picket line means:

1. Not deploying out of stations that UNIFOR is actively picketing. INSTEAD, request to be deployed out of a station not being picketed.

2. Not agreeing to be stationed at a station that UNIFOR is actively picketing. You can be stationed along the line without crossing a picket line, but not at a station being actively picketed.

3. Not agreeing to respond to an incident at a station being actively picketed. The ONLY EXCEPTION is in the case of a medical emergency. Issues with the train or switches or crowd control are not medical emergencies.

4. It is okay to ride the train in and out of a station being picketed.

When you encounter the picket line in one of the above situations:

  • Do not agree to be deployed, be stationed, or attend a station being picketed by UNIFOR.
  • Contact the Union and advise of the situation. You can call your staff rep, Jennifer Arnold, at (604) 215-1499.
  • Advise your supervisor or manager that you are not able to be deployed, be stationed, or attend the station you are being asked to because you do not want to cross the picket line.
  • Still report or continue to work in a way that respects the UNIFOR picket lines.

In the event you are not able to report to work, the BCGEU Provincial Executive has decided that targeted strike pay will be provided for all BCGEU members impacted by the UNIFOR job action. In exchange for picket duty, you will be receive wage replacement in the amount of your net pay as indicated on your paystub.

These measures have been put place if the event you need them, but we will update you with more information if we it looks like we will actually need to engage in these measures.

Job action can be difficult. However, our strength is the solidarity of working people standing together for what is right, and standing in solidarity with those taking job action. But remember, a picket line is a picket line is a picket line. Crossing a picket line is a serious offense for any union member. BCGEU members who cross a picket line are subject to discipline, which can include up to being expelled from the union.

If you have any questions, please contact me at (604) 215-1499 or your Local 1003 Chair, Lana Vincent. There will also be an Executive Vice Presidents (EVPs) worksite visit on November 29th from 9-10:30am at the OMC if you have any further questions.

Thank you for standing in solidarity with your UNIFOR colleagues on the picket line!


In solidarity,

Jennifer Arnold
BCGEU Staff Representative – Lower Mainland

Download PDf of notice here