(Black Press Media files)

Workers union calls strike vote in SkyTrain labour dispute

Mediated talks are scheduled to begin Nov. 28

The union representing 900 Skytrain attendants is calling a strike vote after talks with the B.C. Rapid Transit Company broke down.

On Tuesday afternoon, CUPE 7000 said the vote would be completed by Thursday.

At issue in the labour dispute, union president Tony Rebelo told Black Press Media, are staffing levels, “forced” overtime, a lack of a sick plan, and wage increases.

In the strike vote announcement, Rebelo said the BCRTC would only agree to mediation, despite CUPE 7000 wishing to continue with regular bargaining.

Mediated talks are scheduled between the company and the union starting Nov. 28.

In a statement, TransLink spokesperson Ben Murphy said the company would respect the privacy of the incoming mediation.

“Given that a mediator has now been appointed we need to respect that process and look forward to productive discussions,” Murphy said. “The appointed mediator was used during the last collective bargaining process and is very familiar with the issues.”

The CUPE 7000 dispute, which does not affect the Canada Line or the West Coast Express commuter train, is separate from the current bus and SeaBus strike. That strike is for Coast Mountain Bus Company workers, who operate and maintain the bus fleet and are represented by Unifor.

READ MORE: Talks between workers union, SkyTrain have reached an ‘impasse’: CUPE

READ MORE: Bus workers union to prepare for picket lines, announce new measures in transit strike escalation


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