As you are aware, UNIFOR has served 72 hour strike notice for its members that work for Coast Mountain Bus Company and Sea Bus. While your Employer does not believe UNIFOR's picket lines will impact your work, we suspect it might and want you to be aware of your rights and responsibilities under the collective agreement regarding not crossing picket lines.
Please respect the UNIFOR's picket line, and do not cross them. We believe the Protrans stations most likely affected will be: Bridgeport, Richmond Bridgehouse, and Marine Drive. These are large bus loops that connect Canada Line passengers from bus to train.
When you encounter a picket line:
- Do not cross it.
- Communicate with your supervisor and inform them you will not be crossing the picket line.
- Deploy from another station that is not impacted by the picket line.
- Report back to the Union if you encounter any problems from your employer (i.e. discipline) with not crossing the picket line or deploying from another station.
Under Article 2.9 of the collective agreement, the Employer CANNOT discipline you for refusing to cross a picket line:
2.9 Right to Refuse to Cross Picket Lines
All employees covered by this agreement shall have the right to refuse to cross picket lines arising out of a dispute as defined in relevant legislation. Any employee failing to report for duty shall be considered to be absent without pay. Failure to cross a picket line encountered in carrying out the Employer's business shall not be considered a violation of this agreement nor shall it be grounds for disciplinary action.
There will be a Local 1003 general meeting on Tuesday, November 5th from 7-9pm at the BCGEU HQ office (4911 Canada Way, Burnaby). While this is a general meeting for Local 1003, we will have an opportunity to discuss the above and answer any questions you may have. We will also be talking about upcoming Protrans bargaining and releasing the dates for enhanced steward training.
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.
Finally a reminder: 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.
Please direct any further questions to your stewards or local component chair, Lana Vincent.
Thank you for standing in solidarity with your UNIFOR colleagues on the picket line!
BCGEU Staff Representative – Lower Mainland
Download PDF of notice here.
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