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Drivers to stop collecting fares in Kelowna Regional Transit dispute

Drivers started their job action on September 2 by refusing to wear company uniforms
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A bus stopped at the Queensway Transit Exchange in downtown Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)

The union representing transit drivers in the Central Okanagan plans to step up job action this week.

Unless representatives from Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) 1722 and First Transit work something out by Thursday (Sep. 8), drivers will stop collecting fares from passengers.

Drivers started their job action on Sept. 2 by refusing to wear company uniforms, and instead have been wearing union t-shirts.

“Management refuses to fix our system, fund it, and make it fair, so we are asking the riding public to refuse to pay fares until those priorities improve,” said Al Peressini, ATU president in a statement.

READ MORE: ‘Can’t hire and retain professional, reliable workers’: Possible Kelowna transit strike

According to the union, drivers earn between $5-$10 less per hour than those in other transit systems in the province.

“Our members care deeply for our riders and the community, and we are exercising restraint and doing everything we can before shutting down bus service,” added Peressini.

Central Okanagan mayors and the Westbank First Nation have written to the province asking that it intervene in the dispute.

READ MORE: School zone times extended, safety a priority as students return to class in Kelowna


@GaryBarnes109
gary.barnes@kelownacapnews.com

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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Journalist and broadcaster for three decades.
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