Canada Line workers’ contract expires in three weeks

Metro Vancouver commuters are once again facing the possibility of a transit strike.

A full shutdown of the Expo and Millennium lines was averted this week after a tentative agreement was reached, and late last month, Metro Vancouver transit riders avoided a full shutdown of bus and SeaBus operations after Unifor reached an agreement with Coast Mountain Bus Company mere hours before the strike was set to begin. 

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And now the Canada Line workers’ contract is set to expire at the end of the month.

The 150 Canada Line employees work under the B.C. Government and Service Employees Union (BCGEU), which has a collective agreement with ProTrans B.C. ProTrans B.C., a subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin Inc., is the private operator of the Canada Line under a 31-year operations and maintenance contract.

The collective agreement between ProTrans B.C. and BCGEU is effective from Jan. 1, 2014 through Dec. 31, 2019. However, when the contract expires the union will continue to work under the conditions of the agreement until a new one is ratified. 

A BCGEU representative told Vancouver Is Awesome that since the contract doesn’t expire until the end of the month, negotiations aren't yet underway and bargaining might not begin right away.

In 2015, Canada Line workers voted in favour of strike action, but the union was able to reach an agreement with ProTrans B.C. before the deadline. 

The Canada Line, which runs from Waterfront Station out to Vancouver International Airport, can accommodate up to 400 passengers an hour and sees an average of 150,000 boardings on an average weekday.

- With files from Elana Shepert/Vancouver Is Awesome

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