Drastic service cuts to public transit at TransLink and Coast Mountain Bus Company are having “severe, negative effects” directly on Burnaby front-line workers.
That’s according to MoveUP, a Burnaby-based union that is representing members at Coast Mountain Bus Company and TransLink.
“These service cuts are a huge source of stress for health-care workers in the region who depend on transit,” said Jennifer Whiteside, HEU secretary-business manager, Burnaby. “From extra-long commutes to walking the entire distance to work to staying in a hotel to be closer to their jobs – HEU members are sharing the toll this is taking and it’s not insignificant.”
Union members providing depended-upon supports and services during the crisis are sounding the alarm and are calling for the provincial and federal governments to step in with urgent funding.
“If funding is not there now, we are going to do serious damage to our public transit systems that will take years to fix or may never be fixed,” said David Black, president of MoveUP. “The federal government is providing funding to the laid off workers through the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit and Employment Insurance benefits. Instead of adding transit workers to those programs, it would make much more sense for them to provide urgent funding to our public transit systems to keep those workers on the job so they can be providing critical supports for other front-line workers who rely on public transit.”