01/07/2013 10:57 EST | Updated 03/09/2013 05:12 EST

Victoria transit workers threaten Jan. 22 shutdown to back contract demands

VICTORIA - Victoria-area commuters have just over two weeks to consider their options, if they rely on transit to get to work.

The Canadian Auto Workers Union local 333 says it will shut down the transit system across Greater Victoria on Jan. 22 for a full-scale, one-day walkout.

The local has announced that its 650 bus drivers, mechanics, maintenance and other workers will stage the job action to back demands for a new contract.

Local president Ben Williams says repeated attempts to reach a new contract with BC Transit have failed, and an overtime ban imposed last October has not broken the impasse.

He says if the one-day strike doesn't force some movement, the Jan. 22 walkout will become the first step in escalating job action.

Negotiations have stalled over several issues, including the use of smaller commuter buses around Greater Victoria.