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Greyhound drivers asked to take pay cut, change to benefits: union

Last Updated Jun 25, 2020 at 2:30 pm EDT

A Greyhound bus driver does a walk-around before moving the bus to a parking lot after arriving in Whistler, B.C., from Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Greyhound bus drivers are being asked to take a wage cut or the company could be at risk of shutting down, says a spokesperson from the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU).

ATU Canada President John Di Nino tells 680 NEWS drivers are being asked to accept a 15 per cent wage reduction along with changes to the defined pension benefit plan.

Around 400 employees had already been laid off due the coronavirus pandemic.

Di Nino said the union has been told if the bus drivers don’t accept the terms, the company will shut down.

He expects the union will have more to say on the matter later Thursday or on Friday.

Greyhound Canada was forced to suspend operations on May 13 because of a sharp decline in ridership due to COVID-19.

Ridership, the company said, had fallen 95 per cent and revenues plunged. With service cut in Western Canada two years ago, and several other routes already reduced or suspended due to COVID-19, the company said it was unable to continue without government money.

“This decision came as a last resort option to address the uncontrollable consequences and devastating impacts of this pandemic,” Stuart Kendrick, senior vice-president, said in a statement when the announcement was made. “We will continue our discussions with the provincial and federal governments.”

Di Nino says the situation has been made worse because he says the federal government has given the mass transit industry the cold shoulder during these unprecedented times.