No strike: SkyTrain up and running thanks to last-minute deal

BC Rapid Transit Company and CUPE 7000 reached a tentative deal just before 5 a.m. to stave off job action

A three-day SkyTrain strike has been averted by a last-minute agreement.

BC Rapid Transit Company issued a statement early this morning announcing it had reached a tentative negotiated deal with CUPE 7000, the union that represents about 900 SkyTrain employees.

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The deal was struck just before 5 a.m., when a full shutdown of the Expo and Millennium lines was set to begin.

“This is great news for our customers who depend on our services,” said Michel Ladrak, president of BC Rapid Transit Company, in the statement. “There will be some delays in the start of service on the Expo and Millennium Line this morning. I thank all of our customers and staff for their patience through this uncertain time.”

A statement from CUPE 7000 said details of the tentative agreement – reached after what it terms a “marathon” bargaining session – will not be released until both parties have ratified it.

CUPE 7000 president Tony Rebelo said the deal goes along way to address many of the union’s concerns.

“Both parties worked long and hard throughout the weekend, Monday and into Tuesday morning to get this deal done,” Rebelo said.

Rebelo gave credit to mediator Grant McArthur and his “patience and wisdom” through the talks.

The deal will go to CUPE 7000 members for a vote, and Rebelo said he can “strongly recommend” in favour of ratification.

SkyTrain service was resuming normal operations, but some delays were still expected.

Passengers can watch for advisory updates or follow @TransLink on Twitter for the latest.

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