The union representing Metro Vancouver’s 900 SkyTrain employees has voted overwhelmingly to give its leadership a strike mandate amid stalled contract negotiations.
It represents the latest labour trouble in the TransLink system, where bus drivers and SeaBus operators are planning a three-day system-wide shutdown next week.
In a media release, CUPE Local 7000 said members had voted 96.8 per cent in favour of job action if negotiators are unable to secure a “fair and equitable agreement” with their employer, TransLink subsidiary BC Rapid Transit Company (BCRTC).
“This vote demonstrates that our members are deeply concerned that the company has not addressed our key issues at the table,” said CUPE 7000 president Tony Rebelo.
“It also reflects the frustration that many SkyTrain workers feel about how long the process has taken, after more than 40 sessions at the table.”
Both sides are scheduled to sit down for eight days of mediation starting Nov. 28.
“Mediation is a very important and productive way for parties to resolve their differences in any labour negotiation,” said BCRTC president Michel Ladrak in a statement.
“While CUPE 7000 members have passed a vote which gives them the option of taking job action, at this time the union has not given any indication of providing a strike notice. There is currently no disruption to SkyTrain service.”
If job action does take place, it will not affect the Canada Line, which is operated independently of SkyTrain.
Global News has requested comment from TransLink and BCRTC.