Feb. 16, 1982: Edmonton Transit workers settle in for a long strike

As Edmonton transit workers spent their second day on the picket lines, the rest of the city struggled on without bus service.

Schools report students are still arriving without city buses

Feb. 16, 1982, Edmonton adapts to commuting while the transit drivers are on strike hoping for pay equity with other Canadian cities. 1:11

As Edmonton transit workers spent their second day on the picket lines, the rest of the city struggled on without bus service.

The bus drivers went on strike demanding pay equity to Calgary drivers, who earned $2.85 per hour more.

Outside the Westwood Garage, striking workers were greeted with hot coffee and paycheques. They still had one week of pay owed to them, before relying on strike pay of $50 per week.

Mayor Cec Purves, cut short his vacation to deal with the work stoppage, but not without a message from some of the striking Amalgamated Transit Union.

"Things are running just as smooth without him, just as even if he was here," one worker said.

Things were running smoothly around the city as well.
Downtown Edmonton packed with cars during the transit strike (CBC)

Police reported no increase in crime and both the public and separate school boards said students were arriving fine without the city buses.

Edmontonian would learn to deal with the lack of transit service, arranging carpools and using taxis.

The strike ended on March 24, with the unionized workers signing on to an agreement raising the driver's hourly rate from $9.85 per hour to $14.40 per hour over the two-year contract.

In the report by CBC's Steve Andrusiak, the calmness over the lack of bus service is apparent with both the striking workers and the city in general.