British Columbia

More bad news for transit riders as talks involving SkyTrain workers collapse

After meeting 40 times since March, contract talks between the union representing 900 SkyTrain workers and B.C. Rapid Transit have reached an impasse.

Bargaining at an impasse but no immediate plans to strike. Union says it will seek direction from members

Contract talks between SkyTrain workers and their employer at TransLink have broken off. (CBC)

Metro Vancouver's transit troubles appear to be escalating with the news that talks between the union representing SkyTrain workers and their employer, the B.C. Rapid Transit Company, broke off on Tuesday.

According to a CUPE 7000 news release, the two sides have met 40 times since March.

The union represents 900 SkyTrain attendants, control operators, administrators, maintenance and technical staff.

CUPE 7000 President Tony Rebelo says service on SkyTrain will not be impacted in the immediate future.

"My message to our passengers and customers out there is SkyTrain is still running," he said. "Our talks are broken down and now we're going to our members and let them know about the latest package that was given to us by the company, and we're going to seek direction from our members."

Rebelo said the company had failed to offer fair wages, address the sick plan, inadequate staffing levels and forced overtime.

Michel Ladrak, the president of the BC Rapid Transit Company, said in a written statement that "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 Canada Line and the West Coast Express are not affected by the negotiations.

Transit riders across the region are already dealing with delays in bus service and SeaBus cancellations due to the labour strife between Coast Mountain Bus Company and its unionized workers.

B.C. Rapid Transit Company operates the Expo and Millenium Lines on behalf of TransLink. Coast Mountain Bus Company operates the bus and SeaBus service in Metro Vancouver, also on behalf of TransLink. 

TransLink said it would release a statement on the SkyTrain situation later this afternoon.

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