Bus driver rehired after co-workers wildcat

A driver for Coast Mountain Bus Company near Vancouver who was fired in late June is now back at work after his colleagues took wildcat strike action.

Submitted by Ed on July 8, 2008

"The employee is back to work. I think both parties realized that this is something that should be resolved between the parties rather than go through the grievance process and through a third party," said Canadian Auto Workers Local 111 president, Don MacLeod.

Coast Mountain fired the driver after his bus became stuck on the train tracks at 203rd Street and Hammond road on June 21 as the West Coast Express train was approaching. The driver pulled forward and tore a safety arm off the crossing signal. Last week's meetings also produced agreements that changes need to be made to the crossing at 203rd Street in Maple Ridge to prevent further incidents.

He added that Canadian Pacific Railway employees have already begun removing brush from the area to improve sight lines and that CAW Local 111 safety officials will be in contact with Coast Mountain to see that articulated buses are not used at that intersection anymore.

The worker's firing prompted a 45-minute wildcat strike by bus drivers on June 27 and a series of meetings between the CAW Local 111 and Coast Mountain last week.

Maple Ridge Mayor Gordy Robson sympathized with the fired driver. "We put a guy on his first day on the job in an articulated bus, through construction sites and poorly designed railroad crossings and we blame him for the mistake? That doesn't seem right," he said.