At a union meeting late Sunday night, union members of the Société de Transport de Trois‑Rivières voted in favour of a strike mandate, to be triggered at the appropriate time.

Negotiations began last December for the renewal of the collective agreement that was negotiated seven years ago and that expired on December 31, 2016.

The negotiations are stalled mainly on the calculation of travel times and the employer’s request for the complete overhaul of schedules and the assignment system.

“The employer must plan trips properly and then specify its needs. They have very broad proposals about what they want to do. It’s like asking us to sign a blank check,” says union representative Nina Laflamme.

Moreover, today, the time allotted to the drivers to complete the different routes is not realistic. The trip time is so tight that the slightest setback causes delays, which are frequent. “It’s bad for customer service, and it’s stressful for the driver. The people of Trois‑Rivières deserve better,” said union president Donald Simard.

The union is also asking for a suitable place for meals and sanitary facilities that are up to standard.

During the summer, the union will launch various awareness‑raising activities pending a resumption of talks between the parties.

With more than 110,000 members in Quebec, CUPE represents some 7,100 members in urban transport in the province. CUPE is also present in the following sectors: health and social services, communications, education, universities, energy, municipalities, government corporations and public agencies, air transport, the mixed sector and the maritime sector.