Local 333 Members Vote in Favour of New Agreement at BC Transit

January 25, 2013, 3:50 PM EST

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CAW Local 333 members who work for BC Transit in the Greater Victoria area have overwhelmingly ratified a new agreement.

Workers voted 93 per cent in support of the agreement at a series of meetings January 22.

The contract is retroactive to March 2012 and continues until March 31, 2014. It covers 650 transit operators, mechanics and skilled trades workers.  It includes wage increases of two per cent retroactive to April, 2012 and another two per cent on April 1, 2013.

CAW Local 333 President Ben Williams said multiple gains were made throughout the contract including improved union representation paid by the employer.

Williams said a key issue in bargaining was BC Transit's plan to introduce a high capacity shuttle bus called the Vicinity Bus, which was to be made in China. BC Transit has agreed to withdraw the plan during the life of this agreement.

Williams said BC Transit wanted to pay Vicinity Bus operators at a lower rate than current operators, despite the fact the new bus would have been capable of carrying 39 passengers.

"We will continue fighting to keep them out and we will be back at the bargaining table in 14 months," Williams said. He added that there are several better made buses currently manufactured in North America.

Local 333 members took part in a number of job actions during bargaining including a uniform and overtime ban.

"The members of Local 333 stood up to protect full-time decent jobs for transit workers and they proved that fighting back makes a difference" said CAW National Representative Gavin McGarrigle.

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