Tuesday, May 28, 2024

STL bus drivers on strike

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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No Société de Transportation de Laval bus will pass the city streets today since hundreds of union drivers demonstrated.

The demonstrators left Terminus Montmorency at dinnertime and headed to Terminus le Carrefour.

However, the renegotiation of the collective agreement created a lot of tension between the drivers’ union and the STL.

“It is clear that when we have a strike movement like this, the climate is not very good,” confirms Guy Pickard, Director General of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

“Right now, the employer tells us we’re taking residents hostage, but for now, we want to negotiate,” explains Patrick Lafleur, head of the drivers’ union at the STL. They were offered to negotiate Thursday and Friday of this week to avoid this strike.”

Mr. LaFleur believes that “the Special Tribunal for Lebanon has imposed a strike”.

Guy Piccard denies the accusations.

“This is completely wrong. We made them an offer on Thursday morning. We waited nine hours for them to come back to us, and finally in the evening we were told that we would talk about it again on Monday,” explains the general manager.

He went on to say that the union later contacted management to negotiate, but since a meeting was already scheduled for Monday and that we would wait until that date to have a meeting with Mowaffaq.

Above all, the Federation condemns the misuse of the organization’s budgets.

The appointment of 80 non-union executives has been questioned while 25 drivers were laid off due to COVID last year.

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Jay Pickard believes, however, that employers are working hard to come to an agreement.

“No one has bad faith in this, maybe just a certain misunderstanding,” he says.

“The union has made high-profile agreements in terms of salary advances without understanding the extent of the financial chasm we find ourselves in,” explains Mr. Pickard.

The Director-General asserts that the STL is on a “respirator”, in part due to the proportion of riders of about 65%.

He also assures that even if the drivers work is a requirement, they are already well paid.

He reiterated his intention to continue working with the union to reach an agreement that could satisfy both parties.

STL bus drivers have been without a contract for nearly two and a half years.

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