Feb 15, 2011

SkyTrain workers take strike vote

BURNABY—Members of CUPE 7000, SkyTrain workers, supported their bargaining committee’s recommendations and voted on February 11 to take strike action if needed.

“We hope it doesn’t come to that,” says CUPE 7000 president Gerry Cunningham. “We don’t want to inconvenience the thousands of commuters who rely daily on the services we provide.”

The current contract expired August 31, 2010 and both sides have been in bargaining since then. After about 30 sessions, BCRTC put forward a final offer that was unanimously rejected by CUPE’s bargaining committee. The committee asked the membership to support their actions and give them a strike mandate.

The members held a strike vote that was supported by 96 per cent in favour. No immediate job action is planned and the Local hopes that a mediator will help find a settlement. Mediation is expected to take place within the next few weeks.

The British Columbia Rapid Transit Company Ltd. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Translink. The BCRTC operates SkyTrain’s Millennium and Expo Lines.

CUPE 7000 represents 530 members at SkyTrain including attendants, control room operators, administrative staff and technical and trades workers who maintain trains, tracks and stations.

COPE 491