Here we go again: Union threatens a SkyTrain shutdown

Here we go again.

As if transit riders didn't go through enough anxiety with a threatened bus strike, now SkyTrain could be shut down

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The union representing 900 SkyTrain workers says a three-day system shutdown is planned starting Tuesday morning unless a deal is reached with the BC Rapid Transit Company.

CUPE 7000 issued a 72-hour strike notice on Friday after four days of mediated talks during which the union says no significant progress was made on key issues, which include wages, forced overtime and staffing levels.

Union president Tony Rebelo says he understands the shutdown is a massive action that will inconvenience transit riders, so he hopes to reach an agreement before Tuesday morning.

If not, the union says SkyTrain service will be shut down between 5 a.m. on Tuesday and 5 a.m. on Friday.

Rebelo says the union and its employer have been at the bargaining table or in mediation for almost 50 days after the last contract expired Aug. 31.

Last month, union members, including SkyTrain attendants, control operators, administrators, maintenance and technical staff, voted 96.8 per cent in favour of striking if a deal can't be reached.

The union says the last SkyTrain strike was a single-day shutdown more than twenty years ago.

- With additional reporting by the Canadian Press

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