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Transco bus strike 'has to be resolved,' says Quebec labour minister

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Quebec Labour Minister Jean Boulet met Autobus Transco management and union representatives on Friday in hopes that the labour dispute gets settled soon, as 15,000 children haven't had school transport since the fall.

"I wanted to put pressure on them to move forward and resolve this dispute," explained the minister in an interview.

The strike by the 350 school bus drivers at school bus company Autobus Transco in Montreal began on Oct. 31, 2023.

Some 15,000 students in schools run by the Lester B. Pearson and English Montreal School Boards, the Centres de services scolaires de Montréal and Marguerite-Bourgeoys, and Collège privé Sainte-Anne haven't had school bus transportation ever since.

The matter is bogged down in a dispute over the pay of the 350 bus drivers represented by the union, which is affiliated with the CSN-affiliated Fédération des employé(e)s des services publics.

The employer has already proposed that the union go to arbitration to resolve the dispute, but the union has refused.

Boulet thinks it's a good idea and said he's prepared to appoint an arbitrator quickly to put an end to the labour dispute.

He said an arbitrator would be a neutral and impartial third party.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Feb. 23, 2024. 

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