Canada Line workers overwhelmingly vote yes to strike

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      Unionized workers on the Canada Line have voted 99 percent in favour of strike action.

      The B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union represents approximately 150 workers on the Richmond-Vancouver rapid-transit line, which is operated by SNC-Lavalin subsidiary Protrans B.C. under a contract with TransLink.

      “The strength of the strike vote reflects the commitment of our members to negotiate a fair and reasonable collective agreement,” Paul Finch, BCGEU treasurer, stated in a news release on Thursday (January 8). “We are committed to meaningful negotiations with the help of a mediator later this month. However, if mediation fails we are prepared to increase pressure to negotiate an agreement.”

      According to the BCGEU, the last collective agreement ended on December 31, 2013.

      Mediation at the Labour Relations Board is slated to begin on January 19.

      The $2.1-billion Canada Line, which has an estimated weekly ridership of 120,000, opened in 2009.

      In November 2014, the Canada Line officially transported its 200 millionth passenger.



      ursa minor

      Jan 9, 2015 at 12:17pm

      Given SNC-Lavalin's history of labour relations (trying to pay Canada Line construction workers $3.57 per hour) and the impending TransLink referendum, I anticipate this getting ugly very quickly.

      Tommy Khang

      Jan 9, 2015 at 2:10pm

      Wow seriously it must be tough as a Canada Line attendants whose starting hourly rate is $29.63, I honestly don't know how you could survive on such a pittance of a wage.

      Been There

      Jan 9, 2015 at 3:35pm

      As soon as you see the name SNC-Lavalin in there you know there is trouble.

      Common Sense

      Jan 9, 2015 at 6:53pm

      Does anyone know the terms of their current agreement in any detail and what they want from any potential agreement?

      Although I must say I very seldom find groups of 2 to 5 Canada Line workers standing together on a platform gabbing. This cannot be said for the Expo/Millennium line staff. They take a very limited view of what constitutes 'help'.


      Jan 9, 2015 at 8:03pm

      There is no need for Fat Cat Subcontracts to run a mostly automated Train Line.

      This could easily have been done directly by Translink probably at a much lower total cost over the 35 year sub contract life span if done efficiently.

      Instead there is a 35 year sun contract paid out some say at $145 Million (per year?)I have not yet found the number in any of Translink's Financial reports.

      This was a project that required Cost overrun funding by government to complete & run.

      Oh yeah add to that...

      1. $175 Million plus for Compass Fare gates that will never pay for themselves,

      2. About $15 Million per year to run Compass, it will NEVER pay for itself,

      3. bloated executive compensation in the Millions (totals),

      4. Overpriced super expensive Private Public Partnerships that cost an arm and a leg,

      5. Paying double vs Washington State (which moves 2X the number of people) to run a Transit system.

      Bloat and waste abound.

      cranky mom

      Jan 12, 2015 at 12:19pm

      When you ride your ticket price pays for 20% of the actual cost to take the trip. (I know that there will be many people ready to correct & berate my point) IMO, even with expected gov't subsidies to encourage people to take transit, an 80% subsidy is TOO much. Why not find a better business model?