Vancouver transit strike: What you need to know this week

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      Evo and Uber likely saw a surge in profits last week when a 48-hour shutdown of bus and SeaBus services took place in Metro Vancouver.

      Transit workers under the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) took to a strike after negotiations between their union and Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMBC), a subsidiary of Translink responsible for the operation of buses and the SeaBus, couldn’t reach an agreement.

      The workers picketed transit centres from January 22 to 24.

      The CUPE 4500 and CMBC still have not reached an agreement, and more strikes are possibly on the horizon. 

      The BC Labour Relations Board has scheduled a hearing for Wednesday (January 31) to determine whether CUPE members can legally expand their job action to other public transit facilities—like SkyTrain stations—across Metro Vancouver.

      If CMBC and the union can’t agree to a deal by Friday, “CUPE 500 members will be left with no choice but to take the next step,”  Liam O’Neill, spokesperson for CUPE 4500, says in a statement.

      A complete shutdown of all public transit could happen as soon as Saturday morning, and last for three days. This includes all buses, the SeaBus, and SkyTrain lines.

      “If we don’t have a tentative agreement by 12:01am February 3, CUPE 4500 members will be withdrawing services for 72 hours,” says O’Neill. “We are running out of options with Coast Mountain and TransLink. CUPE 4500 members have been more than patient, and the union has done all it can to get the fair deal our members deserve.”

      According to CMBC, there is no significant impact to transit services at this time, which means that right now, all transit—buses, SkyTrain, SeaBus, West Coast Express, and HandyDART—are operating their usual schedules.

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