SkyTrain workers serve 72-hour strike notice

After SkyTrain workers voted 96.8 per cent in favour of striking back in November, the union has issued a 72-hour strike notice to their employer, BC Rapid Transit Company (BCRTC).

The strike notice comes after 40 days of collective bargaining failed to reach an agreement between BCRTC and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 7000, the union that represents approximately 900 SkyTrain workers in Metro Vancouver.

“We are still committed to reaching an agreement at the table, and our committee will make itself available day and night, over the weekend, to reach a fair deal without any interruption of service,” said Tony Rebelo, the president of CUPE 7000 in a media release.

As of now, SkyTrain services continue to operate as normal and the parties are planning to continue negotiations until 11 a.m. on Saturday. The union plans to release an update outlining their plan for job action at that time.

Potential job action would only affect service on the Millenium and Expo Lines. The Canada Line and West Coast Express would continue operations as normal.

SkyTrain control operators, maintenance, administrative and technical staff represented by CUPE 7000 have been working without a contract since August 31 of this year.

This news comes after Metro Vancouver bus, SeaBus and maintenance workers ratified an agreement with their employer Coast Mountain Bus Company, which averted a planned three-day full system shutdown.

In a media release, BCRTC President Michel Ladrak said he was disappointed to hear of the strike notice, but hoped continued bargaining on Saturday would see the parties reach an agreement without service disruptions.

“We are hopeful and committed to reaching a fair deal without disrupting the valuable service we provide to the residents of this region,” he said.