Greyhound faces labor dispute in central Canada

Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:03pm EDT
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VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Intercity bus company Greyhound Canada has threatened to lock out workers in Ontario and Quebec on Thursday after they rejected a recent contract offer, the company and union said on Tuesday.

Negotiators were scheduled to meet again late on Tuesday for talks focused on pay and pensions, said Ken Sundberg, financial secretary of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1415.

The more than 400 workers voted down the company's call for a two-year wage freeze and a change to the pension system that would switch all new employees from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan, Sundberg said.

A Greyhound spokeswoman declined to comment on the specifics of the labor dispute, but confirmed the company had warned the union that it would institute a lockout if workers rejected the latest offer.

Greyhound Canada, which carries 6.5 million passengers a year and serves nearly 1,100 locations, is a unit of British transportation company FirstGroup Plc.

The dispute does not involve Greyhound's workers in Western Canada or those operating long-distance runs out of Sudbury, Ontario, who are covered under different contracts, the company said.

(Reporting Allan Dowd; editing by Rob Wilson)