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An agreement yesterday between CUPE Local 7000 and the BC Rapid Transit Company may avert further disruption to SkyTrain service through the holiday period.

At the company’s request, representatives of the union and employer met yesterday and negotiated an agreement to make a joint request to the Minister of Labour for the appointment of special mediator Vince Ready. The agreement is subject to ratification by a union membership referendum, which will take place tomorrow (Friday).

As a part of the agreement, B.C. Rapid Transit Company has agreed to set aside their essential services application, and the union has agreed to suspend strike action until January 9th to give Mr. Ready an opportunity to work with the parties.

CUPE Local 7000 President Rob Hewitt says the agreement is a win-win situation for SkyTrain workers and riders. M0072002e Ready has a strong track record in settling difficult disputes fairly and effectively, 00730061ys Hewitt. T00680065 union has, however, reserved all of its rights to take job action in the future if this process is unsuccessful. 000a003cp>

SkyTrain workers have been a legal strike position since November 25th, and held a one-day walkout last Sunday. The union has committed to giving advance notice prior to any further job action.

The four remaining key issues in the dispute are:

  • Minimum Staffing Levels: to ensure that the SkyTrain system is adequately staffed on the trains, in the stations, and in the control centre, so that SkyTrain riders can feel safe and secure.
  • Sick Time Improvements: to provide the same provisions for sick time enjoyed by other employees in the TransLink system.
  • A Sunday Premium: to provide the same Sunday shift premium enjoyed by other employees in the TransLink system, and to recognize the sacrifices workers make when they take time away from their families to work on Sundays.
  • A Fair Wage Increase: to acknowledge the enormous responsibility SkyTrain workers have for the safety and security of riders travelling on a totally automated system.

For more information: Rob Hewitt, 517-4257 (office) or Jim Kirk

December 16,1999
opeiu 491