At a time when the eyes of the entire world are focused on COP26, the international summit on climate change, Laval bus drivers are forced to go on strike to protect public transit in their city.

“Public transit is the only way out of the climate crisis. The management of the Société de transport de Laval (STL) is burying its head in the sand by refusing to see what is rather obvious – without adequate public transit, Laval residents will go back to driving their cars. Through its mismanagement, the STL is jeopardizing public transit service in Laval.  We don’t want to go on strike, but we’re doing this to ensure the city’s sustainable development,” explained Patrick Lafleur, president of CUPE 5959.

For these reasons, the union launched a mobilization campaign on the importance of public transportation in Laval. Its slogan is Mobilisés pour la mobilité! (Mobilized for mobility!).

The union, which received a 99% strike mandate during a strike vote taken in January 2021, has run up against steadfast resistance of its demands by the STL, in spite of numerous concessions the union has made.

Municipal election campaign on Sunday

This strike is taking place just a few days prior to municipal election voting. Union members have met with all of the candidates running for positions in the mayor’s office and municipal counsellors to make them aware of the fact that the STL is undermining the bargaining process.

“In 2021, public transit should be a priority for all cities the size of Laval. There is no green economic recovery without public transit,” said Patrick Lafleur.