Transit strike exposes need for public operations of public services

May 11, 2023

VICTORIA, B.C. – The B.C. Green Caucus is calling on the BC NDP to put an end to the outsourcing of essential public operations to for-profit corporations, and ensure that public workers in B.C. receive a living wage.

“The ongoing transit strike in the Fraser Valley highlights the urgent need for the government to put an end to the outsourcing of essential public services to for-profit corporations,” said Sonia Furstenau, Leader of the B.C. Greens and MLA for Cowichan Valley. “For seven weeks, thousands of people have been unable to use public transit to get to work or school, causing widespread frustration among Fraser Valley residents.”

Bus drivers in the Fraser Valley are paid 32 percent less than their counterparts in neighboring regions, and they work long standby hours for less than $3 an hour, with no pension plan. These workers are underpaid and overworked, and they are now on the picket line asking for fair wages and fair treatment.

“This situation is a direct result of the government's outsourcing of public operations to for-profit corporations without adequate safeguards,” continued Furstenau. “Although the buses in the Fraser Valley are owned by B.C. Transit, they are operated by a private company that is nickel-and-diming its workers. Despite the workers' requests for fair treatment, the employer has not stepped up to negotiate, and the government has remained silent on this issue.

“The ongoing transit strike in the Fraser Valley is a reminder of the importance of government responsibility for public services. When government hands over operations of a public service to for-profit companies, it's the workers who pay the price.

“This government must take action to put an end to the corporatization of essential public services and prioritize the well-being of workers and communities.”




Media contact
JoJo Beattie

Press Secretary
B.C. Green Caucus
+1 250-882-6187 | [email protected]

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