The Halifax bus strike blues brothers

The premier’s brother has been an employee of Halifax Metro Transit for over two decades

by Emma Teitel

Haligonians are desperate to see their buses back on the road amid a current Metro Transit strike, but negotiations between government officials and union heads don’t look promising. The ever-unpopular Nova Scotia premier, Darrell Dexter, has so far taken a complete hands-off approach to the strike (which is on the verge of its one month anniversary) and Halifax residents now think they have a pretty good idea why: It turns out that the premier’s brother, Rick Dexter, has been an employee of Halifax Metro Transit for over two decades. And not only is the premier’s brother a bus driver, he is also—as of about a week ago—a scab.

According to a number of Halifax sources, Rick Dexter got behind the wheel of an Access-A-Bus at a city bus depot on February 20th, and tried to drive back to work amid angry jeers from fellow employees, who chanted “scab” as he pulled out of the lot. To complicate matters even further, Rick Dexter ran for vice-president of his union in 2009, urging union members to also vote for his now-premier brother in the upcoming election.

Halifax Councilor Gloria McCluskey, of Dartmouth Centre, has said she’s received numerous phone calls from both transit users and bus drivers suffering from the strike and believes that Rick Dexter’s job is a possible explanation for premier Dexter’s reticence on the issue. The premier’s office, however, was quick to release a statement following the “scab” incident, ensuring Haligonians that his brother’s transit connection has nothing to do with his decision not to interfere with the strike. “The premier is concerned about the impact the strike is having on people, including drivers and their families,” Dexter’s spokesperson said. “Our office is not going to comment on [back-to-work]legislation as it would interfere with the collective bargaining process.”




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The Halifax bus strike blues brothers

  1.  I can’t believe that such a prestigious news magazine would print an article without first checking the facts, The truth is that yes I have worked at transit for over twenty years and spent time as a shop steward and Vice President of the Union. Shortly after loosing the Election I took a job as a Term Supervisor I got to enjoy the job and applied for a full time position. I was successful in that pursuit. I am not a driver nor am I a SCAB  I am a supervisor following the instructions of my bosses. If I was still a Union Leader I would never had gone on strike for rostering as the system in place today is archaic, I would have found a way to gain some additional benefit to offset the value. As for my Brother being Premier I do not pretend to tell him how to run the Province and he does not tell me hoe to be a Transit Supervisor.

    Your reporter should be ashamed of the lack of effort they put into this article. 
    Rick Dexter
    Service Supervisor, Metro Transit

    •  They did check the facts, you just want more money, SCAB.

    • If only you had been elected union president instead of Ken Wilson. All parties may have avoided this headache.

  2. perhaps Richard it is journalism that picks the low hanging fruit 

  3. In the dream world we could all pick our own shifts.To be on strike because of this issue is insane.Yeah,let the fortunate few pick the shifts they want and screw the rest of the employees.
    Isn,t that how it goes.They say its to benefit the family.How is this going to help the whole.
    I don,t often agree with this city as I think they are a bunch of crooks but this time I agree with them.
    To strike because you can,t have the shift you want?You don,t deserve a job.
    The worst excuse I have ever heard for being on strike.Did they tell you when they hired you that you could just work when ever you wanted to.City busses or not,they still have to at least break even.And if they don,t there will be lay offs.Oh and guess what,you won,t have a job to worry about
    Patric Ryan

  4. Utter garbage.

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