While the labour dispute in school bus transportation drags on due to the government’s inability to act, more and more bus drivers are reorienting their careers.
Laval, QC, June 14, 2023 — After several weeks on strike and faced with the indifference of the provincial government and the stubborn stance of publicly funded private school bus companies, more and more exhausted bus drivers from Autobus Campeau and Sogesco are considering career changes.
At present, an estimated 25% of school bus drivers on strike have abandoned the picket lines to find other employment.
This troubling trend alarms François Laporte, President of Teamsters Canada: “Unless there’s a significant change in circumstances, this strike will extend into the Summer months. No one can blame these hardworking individuals for seeking ways to make ends meet. And should an agreement arise before school starts up again, just how many drivers will we have left out of the initial 300? Disregard for human dignity has real consequences!”
Laporte asserts that the Teamsters are committed to protecting their members to the bitter end: “We’re tirelessly striving for a fair contract, but if the tide doesn’t turn soon, we’re prepared to establish a job clinic to aid our members in finding alternative employment in the region. This is the point we’re at now.”
Jean Chartrand, President of Teamsters Local 106, which represents the striking drivers, expresses his disappointment in the government’s handling of the situation: “From the beginning, we’ve faced companies that refuse to negotiate. They maintain they lack sufficient funding from school boards and service centers to operate without thrusting their employees into poverty. We’ve met with government officials, who claim they’ve done everything within their power, including appointing mediators at our request. But if you’re looking for someone to blame for this mess, you don’t have to look much further, the government is responsible.
Chartrand concludes by stating, “The existing system simply isn’t working anymore. They are paying parents to transport their kids, yet there’s no money for the drivers. This Fall, we’ll be negotiating more than a dozen similar collective agreements across Quebec. How many strikes will the government tolerate before it plays its role and helps find a fair resolution?”
Despite the dire circumstances, Teamsters Union is determined to find a resolution as swiftly as possible and remains open to dialogue with the transport companies and the government to negotiate agreements that ensure our members’ right to a dignified living.
With over 125,000 members, Teamsters Canada is the country’s largest transportation and supply chain union. It’s also the largest union in the federally regulated private sector. The organization represents workers at CP, CN, UPS, Purolator, countless trucking companies, and more. They are affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which represents over 1.2 million workers in North America.
Director of Communications, Teamsters Canada
Cell: 514-206-0492 | email@example.com