SkyTrain workers, employer at impasse in bargaining talks
VANCOUVER – As one Metro Vancouver transit union headed back to the bargaining table, another said its talks have "reached an impasse."
In a statement posted online Wednesday, the Canadian Union of Public Employees said negotiations broke down.
CUPE 7000 is a union representing about 900 SkyTrain attendants, operators and other workers.
Their last contract expired at the end of August, and CUPE says representatives of the union and the BC Rapid Transit Company have had more than 40 sessions since May.
Negotiations broke down Tuesday, the union said.
"The company has failed to offer fair wages or address the sick plan, inadequate staffing levels, forced overtime, and other issues important to our members," CUPE 7000 president Tony Rebelo said in a statement.
"We have been more than proactive and flexible in trying to reach solutions to improve the service, but the employer's latest package failed to address the key issues. They are simply not interested in bargaining seriously, so we're left with little choice but to go to our members and seek direction for next steps."
In an email, the president of BCRTC said the union advised they’d be holding a meeting with members to discuss the next steps.
"We remain committed to the bargaining process and have suggested the parties take part in mediation to help resolve current issues," Michael Ladrak said.
"We are open to further discussing what has been offered and urge the union to continue negotiating with us."
BCRTC says the Canada Line and West Coast Express are not affected by the negotiations.
While talks with one transit union broke down on Tuesday, another agreed the same day to go back to the bargaining table.
Unifor, which represents bus and SeaBus operators and maintenance workers, accepted an offer from Coast Mountain Bus Company to resume talks on Wednesday.
The union and employer had been in a stalemate since the end of October, and job action began on Nov. 1.
Unifor's western regional director warned earlier this week that that job action could escalate by Friday if a deal isn't reached.