Mediator appointed in transit strike

Veteran mediator Vince Ready has been appointed by the provincial government to help end the 12-day old transit strike in the Lower Mainland.

Ready is already at the table in Victoria, trying to work out a deal between B.C. Transit and its striking bus drivers in the capital city.

Now, Ready will also oversee talks between the Lower Mainland's 3,300 bus drivers and the Coast Mountain Bus Company.

He's also been appointed to mediate in the strike by SkyTrain security and office workers.

Labour Minister Joan Smallwood says the time is right for a mediator to step in.

"The opportunity of having Vince Ready available with his expertise in the province is going to be a very important signal that we expect serious negotiations," she says.

Don MacLeod of the Canadian Auto Workers union, who speaks for the striking bus drivers, says the union hasn't changed it's position on the hiring of part-time drivers.

There have been no talks since Monday, when the CAW rejected the company's latest offer, which included provisions for hiring part-time drivers.

The transit strikes in Lower Mainland and Greater Victoria began on April 1.

SkyTrain continues to run, despite the strike by its security and office workers.