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Union helps B.C. transit works negotiate contract

While not all workers belong to a union, there are a variety of things those who do can look to the organization for help with. One of those things is negotiating compensation and benefits. Generally, when it comes to matters of this nature there is an assumption that a group has more power than individuals, providing leverage in negotiation. A tactic members of a union might use in the course of negotiation is a strike.

Recently a union that represents transit workers in British Columbia reached a deal with First Canada regarding their new contract. The agreement came several days after the union issued a 72-hour strike notice. Approval of the deal would keep bus service going without disruption.

Initially, it seemed as though the strike was inevitable as the contract offered by First Canada was less than what transit workers in Victoria received this past summer. The national representative for Unifor--the union representing the workers--indicated he was shocked by the amendment First Canada came back with to its final offer.

Though not yet ratified, the deal, which is expected to be accepted, provides employees with a raise of 20 cents, each year over the course of the next four years. It is retroactive to April 1 of last year.

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