RICHMOND – CUPE 873-03 members have begun strike action at SN Transport after repeated attempts to reach a first collective agreement have failed. The union is critical of the employer for its delay tactics and unwillingness to bargain a first contract with the workers who provide patient transfer services in the Lower Mainland.
“From the moment this group joined CUPE, the employer has resisted and dragged their feet,” said CUPE National Representative John Strohmaier. “Instead of working to reach a fair collective agreement, the employer prefers to spend hundreds of thousands on legal fees to throw a monkey wrench into the process.”
Despite a long bargaining session on Monday, the two parties were unable to reach an agreement. “At the end of the day we were bargaining with ourselves,” said Strohmaier. “This employer continues to show a total lack of respect for these workers and their right to a fair first collective agreement.”
Key outstanding issues for CUPE 873-03 members are compensation and lack of scheduling.
The 115 employees work as patient transfer drivers at SN Transport, a private company. They transport patients to and from medical appointments at hospitals and clinics.
They voted to join CUPE in July 2014 and bargaining for their first contract began in August. They were unable to reach a first agreement and filed for mediation, which was also unsuccessful. The strike began at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, June 1.COPE 491