UPDATED: Union representing SkyTrain workers considers possible strike action

CUPE Local 7000, the union representing 900 SkyTrain workers, says negotiations with the BC Rapid Transit Company (SkyTrain) have reached a deadlock.

CUPE Local 7000 says that there have been more than 40 sessions at the bargaining table since the beginning of May, and that talks broke down Tuesday, Nov. 12. It says that both sides were unable to reach an agreement on several key issues.

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“The Company has failed to offer fair wages or address the sick plan, inadequate staffing levels, forced overtime, and other issues important to our members,” said CUPE 7000 President Tony Rebelo.

“We have been more than proactive and flexible in trying to reach solutions to improve the service, but the employer’s latest package failed to address the key issues. They are simply not interested in bargaining seriously, so we’re left with little choice but to go to our members and seek direction for next steps.”

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

In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, Michel Ladrak, president of BC Rapid Transit Company, said:

“Following six months of negotiation and an offer being presented to CUPE 7000 by British Columbia Rapid Transit Company (BCRTC), the union has declared an impasse in negotiations. They have advised that they will be holding a meeting with their members to discuss their next steps.

“We remain committed to the bargaining process and have suggested the parties take part in mediation to help resolve the current issues.  The offer we have put forward aligns with public sector settlements in British Columbia today.  We are open to further discussing what has been offered and urge the union to continue negotiating with us.”

The negotiations do not affect the Canada Line or West Coast Express.

Read the original article here.

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