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Saint-Eustache, QC – The union representing employees of Robert Paquette Autobus et fils Inc. (CUPE 5072) has appealed to the solidarity of its members to keep the buses running and provide users with the best possible service.

On the night of January 9, a major fire engulfed the facilities of the Saint-Eustache company, causing damage estimated at two million dollars. Fortunately, a new garage that can house a dozen city buses was built across the street in 2011, allowing most of the buses to be saved and the administrative offices to be temporarily relocated.

While there is never a good time for a calamity like this, winter conditions and the cold make it more difficult to maintain operations.

“We are closely monitoring the situation to ensure as smooth a transition as possible. In a situation like this, we must do our best to ensure that the citizens, our customers, continue to receive quality service,” said CUPE 5072 president Sylvie Manseau.

“The employer has announced that thanks to the commitment and professionalism of the employees, the 20 public transit bus routes were covered without delay or incident. I am confident that our union members will stay the course,” added representative Mario Lamontagne.

CUPE 5072 was founded in May 2011. Its 36 members are bus drivers providing urban transport in the Saint-Eustache region. Last August, the union began negotiating its first collective agreement. The next stage of the negotiation will be a second conciliation meeting.