CUPE 7000 calls strike vote as SkyTrain declines new talks

With the BC Rapid Transit Company turning down the union’s latest proposal for new bargaining dates, a strike vote is now underway for CUPE 7000 members working for SkyTrain.

Last week, a BCRTC media release said that the Company “remain[s] committed to the bargaining process…” and is “open to further discussing what has been offered and urge the union to continue negotiating with us.” Although eight days of mediated talks had already been scheduled starting from November 28, both parties are free to re-enter direct negotiations at any time.

“We responded by adjusting our schedules and offering dates to the Company, despite missing some members of the union’s bargaining committee. We offered to meet with the Company prior to mediation because our priority is to negotiate a fair deal,” said CUPE 7000 President Tony Rebelo.

“However, the chief negotiator for BCRTC rejected those dates, didn’t offer alternate dates, and stated that the Company will only meet us at mediation. So the BCRTC is clearly saying one thing publicly and another thing privately.”

Rebelo said the strike vote will be completed on Thursday and results will be announced shortly afterward.

“Once again, I want to emphasize that we are committed to reaching an agreement without any disruption to service. However, with this latest development and with the employer’s failure to address key issues, CUPE 7000 members have directed the Union to conduct this strike vote.”

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

The last contract expired on August 31, 2019.

Source: CUPE National