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Union warns SkyTrain could shut down too as deadline for Vancouver bus strike looms

January 22, 2024
The Canadian Press

(Getty Images)

The union representing SkyTrain employees in Metro Vancouver says it’s prepared to shut down all services Monday in solidarity with bus supervisors as a deadline to resolve a dispute with Coast Mountain Bus Company looms.

CUPE Local 7000 — which represents rapid transit and rail workers — says the bus supervisors’ union has filed a Labour Board complaint about efforts by transit providers to limit the impact any strike would have on commuters.

The SkyTrain union says in a statement to members that if the complaint is upheld, picket lines would spread to SkyTrain sites and this would halt the rail service.

CUPE Local 4500, representing more than 180 transit supervisors, has said strike action will get underway at 3 a.m. Monday for 48 hours if no deal is reached, shutting down bus and SeaBus services.


Tina Lovgreen, media manager for regional transit operator TransLink, says CUPE Local 4500 can only legally picket bus and SeaBus sites at this time.

Coast Mountain Bus Company had warned of significant affects on bus and SeaBus services Monday should the strike occur, but said other transit services including SkyTrain, HandyDART and West Coast Express would run as usual.

Tony Rebelo, president of CUPE Local 7000, said in an interview that he doesn’t agree with the company’s comments about SkyTrain and other services running as usual.

Rebelo said if any SkyTrain stations are behind picket lines Monday, “we will not cross picket lines and SkyTrain will not be running.”

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 134, which represents West Vancouver bus drivers, has also warned their members won’t cross CUPE 4500 picket lines.

Cornel Neagu with Local 134 said his members also wouldn’t cross lines if they go up at West Vancouver Transit Depot or Phibbs Exchange in North Vancouver Monday.

“The probability to have picket lines there is very low,” he said. “But I cannot say it’s zero.”

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