CUPE 7000 says SkyTrain strike will start on Tuesday, shutting down service on Millennium and Expo lines

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      A union representing SkyTrain workers says it's still holding out hope of a settlement in its contract talks with B.C. Rapid Transit Company.

      But the president of CUPE 7000, Tony Rebelo, said that if a deal isn't reached, his members will walk off the job at 5 a.m. on Tuesday (December 10).

      That would shut down service on the Millennium and Expo Lines but not have any impact on the Canada Line, HandyDart, buses, SeaBuses, and West Coast Express.

      “We understand that this is a massive action that will cause a great deal of inconvenience to our passengers, which is why we hope we can still reach an agreement before Tuesday morning,” Rebelo said in a news release. “We have been either at the table or in mediation for almost 50 days now, so it’s time to get a deal done.”

      The threatened walkout would last for three days and end at 5 a.m. on Friday (December 13).

      There are about 900 SkyTrain workers represented by CUPE 7000. They are employed as attendants, control operators, and administrators, and in maintenance and technical areas.

      They've been without a contract since August 31.

      B.C. Rapid Transit Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of TransLink.

      “British Columbia Rapid Transit Company is extremely disappointed the union representing about 900 of its employees has decided to take the drastic step of a full strike beginning Tuesday morning," company president Michel Ladrak said in a statement. "It is completely unacceptable the union has chosen to use the 150,000 people who use the Expo and Millennium Lines each weekday as leverage.”

      On Thursday (December 5), Unifor members ratified a contract with Coast Mountain Bus Company calling for three percent annual wage increases for transit operators in each of the next two years.

      Transit operators also received a two percent wage hike retroactive to April 1 and an additional one percent for the rest of this year.