Letter writer Roderick V. Louis says there are practical ways to make up the $1.3 billion funding shortfall when it comes to replacing the planned LRT for Surrey with a SkyTrain extension. (File photo)

CUPE issues 72-hour strike notice for SkyTrain

Local 7000 release states ‘parties are still bargaining’, union will have job action plan by Saturday

CUPE 7000 has issued a 72-hour strike notice for SkyTrain.

The local union issued the strike notice to the B.C. Rapid Transit Company Friday (Dec. 6), following four days of mediation and more than 40 days of direct bargaining, “in which no significant progress was made on key issues,” a release from CUPE 7000 states.

“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 CUPE 7000 President Tony Rebelo.

“We will need to work very hard to reach a deal that addresses our concerns about wages, forced overtime, staffing levels and trades adjustment language, among other issues.”

The release states that the parties are still bargaining, and the union will send out an updated media advisory on the local’s job action plan.

B.C. Rapid Transit Company president Michel Ladrak said in a statement that BCRTC has been “working hard” since May 6, 2019 to renew its agreement with the union.

Ladrak said the union “has not informed BCRTC what for the job action would take nor when it might occur.”

“While we are disappointed by this development, BCRTC and CUPE will (continue) bargaining through the weekend. We are hopeful and committed to reaching a fair deal without disrupting the valuable service we provide to the residents of this region,” Ladrak said.

On Nov. 21, CUPE 7000 members voted 96.8 per cent in favour of a strike.

READ ALSO: SkyTrain workers vote 96.8 per cent in favour of job action, union says, Nov. 21, 2019

The union’s last contract expired on Aug. 31, 2019, states the release.

CUPE 7000 represents approximately 900 SkyTrain workers who provide service as SkyTrain attendants and control operators as well as administration, maintenance, and technical staff.

A strike would not affect the Canada Line.

More to come.



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

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