TransLink CEO. (Black Press Media files)

TransLink CEO ‘hopeful’ SkyTrain shutdown can be averted with last-minute deal

No extra buses will be on the roads if strike goes ahead

TransLink’s CEO said Monday he was “hopeful” the union and the B.C. Rapid Transit Company could reach deal before a full SkyTrain shutdown.

CUPE 7000, which represents 900 SkyTrain attendants, has said its workers will walk off the job at 5 a.m. Tuesday if they cannot come to an agreement, following the provision of 72-hours of strike notice last week.

At a news conference, TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond said both sides negotiated throughout the weekend.

“They did not adjourn last night’s bargaining session till about 1 a.m.,” he said. “They did resume bargaining again earlier today and they remain at the table.”

TransLink has said there will be major impacts if the Expo and Millennium Lines shut down.

“There is no way to replace a system that reliably moves 150,000 people per day,” Desmond said.

“Many people will be left with no other options to get around the region.”

Desmond said to expect 15,000 more cars on the roads on Tuesday morning, should the labour action proceed, and that buses and the West Coast Express would be busier, too. Canada Line workers belong to a different union and service not be affected.

The potential strike comes less than a week after the Coast Mountain Bus Company and Unifor ratified a deal to avert the shutdown of the bus system.

READ MORE: SkyTrain strike to begin Tuesday with ‘full shutdown’, CUPE says

READ MORE: Don’t expect extra bus service during impending SkyTrain strike, CMBC says


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katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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