Canada Line strike averted as tentative deal reached

The union issued a 72-hour strike notice on Friday

The union representing Canada Line workers says it has reached a tentative deal with the employer, averting a strike | Photo: TransLink

There won’t be any disruption to Canada Line service after a tentative deal was reached on Tuesday.

In a statement, the BC Government and Service Employees Union – which represents about 180 Canada Line workers – said a deal has been reached with Protrans BC, which operates the commuter line. However, details won’t be revealed until union members have reviewed and voted to ratify the terms. 

Union members were in a legal strike position as of 4 p.m. on Monday, but held off on job action as negotiations continued with Canada Line operator Protrans BC. Key issues were wage parity with other SkyTrain workers, improved sick leave and contract length.

“Our members’ goal has always been to get a fair contract at the bargaining table,” said Stephanie Smith, BCGEU president, in a statement.

“Bargaining isn’t easy at the best of times and bargaining during a pandemic is definitely not the best of times. Our members showed incredible solidarity under extremely challenging circumstances and they got it done.”

The union issued a 72-hour strike notice on Friday, and since Sunday, the two parties have spent close to 40 hours at the bargaining table. Last November, union members voted 98 per cent in favour of strike action.

Workers have been without a contract since December 2019 and have taken part in more than 40 bargaining sessions since talks began in February 2020.

The Canada Line is privately operated by Protrans BC, which is owned by SNC-Lavalin.

Richmond News