SkyTrain strike averted after CUPE 7000 reaches early-morning agreement with B.C. Rapid Transit Company

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      After marathon negotiations throughout the night, the trains will be running across Metro Vancouver this morning.

      That's because CUPE 7000 and B.C. Rapid Transit Company have announced a tentative agreement.

      The terms have not been released.

      "This is great news for our customers who depend on our services," B.C. Rapid Transit Company president Michel Ladrak said in a news release. "There will be some delays in the start of service on the Expo and Millennium Line this morning. I thank all of our customers and staff for their patience through this uncertain time.”

      It came in the final hour before 900 SkyTrain workers were about to walk off the job for three days, beginning at 5 a.m.

      About 150,000 people ride the Millennium and Expo lines every day.

      The deal still needs to be ratified by members of CUPE 7000.

      Negotiations did not involve workers on the Canada Line or West Coast Express.

      Bowinn Ma, the parliamentary secretary for TransLink, tweeted her gratitude to transit users for their respect for the collective-bargaining process, as well as to the bargaining teams.

      The two sides were at the table for 20 hours before achieving a breakthrough.

      The chair of the TransLink Mayors' Council, New Westminster mayor Jonathan Cote, also tweeted out his thanks to CUPE 7000 and B.C. Rapid Transit Company negotiators.

      On December 5, Unifor members in two locals ratified their agreement with Coast Mountain Bus Company.

      B.C. Rapid Transit Company and Coast Mountain Bus Company are both wholly owned subsidiaries of TransLink, which is the publicly owned regional transportation authority.

      MoveUP B.C. needs a deal

      One other Metro Vancouver transit union, MoveUP B.C., is still without a contract.

      It represents TransLink workers, as well as Coast Mountain Bus Company employees who provide operational scheduling and administrative services.

      According to MoveUP's last contract with TransLink, there are 12 salary scales for TransLink inside workers and one for non-office mail truck drivers.

      MoveUP's last contract with Coast Mountain Bus Company also has 12 salary scales for inside workers. In addition, it includes scales for non-office farebox atttendants, farebox receipt attendants, and traffic checkers.

      MoveUP's contracts with TransLink and Coast Mountain Bus Company expired on March 31.