The drivers of the Kingston Access Bus are involved in a labour dispute with the management of Kingston Access Services. They have been on strike since April 16, 2009. The key issues are not monetary, but about basic labour rights, including:
– the definition of an “employee”. Management does not recognize part-time employees as regular employees, therefore they are excluded from benefits and certain rights, which regular employees receive, even though most of them work full-time hours.
– Management refuses to post rules and regulations, both past and present. How can one follow the rules if you are usure of what the are? How can you be sure that the rule you are supposedly breaking has been in existence and is not omething which has just been made up for one particular incident?
– Access to the lunchroom is denied to evening drivers. The lunchroom is locked after 5 pm so the evening drivers – some of whom are female – are expected to eat their lunches alone in the bus if they don’t have enough time to spend their break at home. With the city anti-idling by-law they also cannot run the buses for heat in the winter or air conditioning in the summer.