Two of the four unions representing employees of the Société de transport de Sherbrooke, STS, who are affiliated with CUPE and the CSN, have voted massively in favour of pressure tactics up to and including a strike when the time is deemed right. The other two unions will be meeting with their members very shortly to seek a similar mandate.

“By forming a common front, we can stand up against our employer and negotiate contracts beneficial to our members. Unfortunately, what has been presented to us thus far as been unacceptable and disrespectful. Sustained mobilization is required to produce an agreement that everyone will find satisfactory,” said Maxime Leroux, president of CUPE 3434.

The parties have managed to agree on a wide variety of issues. However, the issue of wages still has to be resolved, and the gap between what is being offered and our demands is substantial.

“The offer as it now stands further impoverishes employes and will have no impact on retaining staff and improving their working conditions. We want to provide public transit services commensurate with riders’ needs, and this can’t be achieved without enough employees on the job,” explained Denis Beaudoin, president of the Conseil central des syndicats nationaux de l’Estrie.

The common front of STS workers is already sporting the colours of a public campaign with the slogan “Comme vous, on veut que ça roule” (We want things to move just as you do).

The groups involved are the CUPE affiliated Syndicat des chauffeurs d’autobus de la STS with 180 members; the and three CSN affiliated unions, the Syndicat des travailleurs d’entretien de la STS with 40 members; the Syndicat du personnel de bureau de la STS with 13 members and the Syndicat du personnel du transport adapté de la STS with 35 members.