Coast Mountain Bus Company has announced it will not be increasing bus service in response to the planned strike by CUPE 7000, the union representing 900 SkyTrain workers.
Over the weekend, CUPE 7000 announced it will proceed with a full “withdrawal of services” on Tuesday, Dec. 10. Unless an agreement can be reached with the B.C. Rapid Transit Company (SkyTrain), the system shutdown is set to begin on Tuesday at 5 a.m., and normal service will resume on Friday at 5 a.m.
“CMBC customers should be aware that given our operational constraints and labour considerations, we are not able to increase bus service in response to the planned strike by BCRTC employees on SkyTrain this week. Bus service will be operating as it would on any regular weekday,” said Michael McDaniel, president of Coast Mountain Bus Company.
“The planned job action will affect Expo and Millennium Lines only. Customers should plan for higher passenger volumes than usual.”
CUPE 7000 released a statement on Dec. 8, noting that media coverage included interviews with a TransLink spokesperson, “whose inaccurate statements and incendiary language directed at the union do nothing to move the parties closer to a collective agreement.”
CUPE 7000 president Tony Rebelo remarked that he has, “maintained a tone of respect” throughout bargaining and that the union’s number one priority was getting a fair agreement without a disruption in service.
After the Dec. 7 announcement, Michel Ladrak, president of British Columbia Rapid Transit Company, stated that the BCRTC was extremely disappointed by the decision. He described the Union’s decision as a “drastic step” and added that it is, “completely unacceptable the union has chosen to use the 150,000 people who use the Expo and Millennium Lines each weekday as leverage.”
Ladrak noted that the Canada Line, West Coast Express, bus, SeaBus and HandyDART services will operate as normal, and that the BCRTC will be working with TransLink and Coast Mountain Bus Company to secure additional bus service on existing routes. However, “customers should consider alternate arrangements should a full strike proceed.”
CUPE 7000 represents approximately 900 SkyTrain workers who provide service as SkyTrain attendants and control operators as well as administration, maintenance, and technical staff.
Canada Line and West Coast Express are not affected by this announcement.