TORONTO, March 21, 2018 /CNW/ - Unifor Local 4268 says school bus drivers at First Student Bowmanville have been forced out on strike as of at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday March 21.
"First Student is still refusing to pay for the total time that is spent driving," said Unifor Ontario Regional Director Naureen Rizvi. "Our drivers truly appreciate the support that they've received from parents and students in their fight to end unpaid work."
The strike affects routes in the Durham, Durham Catholic, Kawartha Pine Ridge and the Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Boards. Community members should visit Student Transportation Services for Central Ontario at www.stsco.ca and Durham Student Transportation Services at www.dsts.on.ca for school listings and cancellation notices.
The drivers have been working without a contract since August 31, 2017 and have been in a legal strike position since December 10, 2017. Talks between the union and employer broke off shortly before the strike deadline of 12:01 a.m.
For months Unifor has conducted negotiations with First Student with the aim to eliminate the use of unpaid work hours and to improve wages.
"It's important that our kids get to school safely and that means well trained, responsible drivers," said Unifor Local 4268 President Debbie Montgomery. "The industry can't attract and keep quality drivers if they don't earn a wage that reflects the responsibilities that they have in the performance of their duties."
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.
For further information: Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O'Keefe at [email protected] or 416-896-3303 (cell).