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Labour deal averts Canada Line strike

The Canada Line between Richmond, Vancouver and the airport carries 100,000 riders a day. - File
The Canada Line between Richmond, Vancouver and the airport carries 100,000 riders a day.
— image credit: File

Labour peace appears to be at hand for Metro Vancouver's rapid transit system.

A first contract reached last week with Canada Line workers ended the threat of a strike disrupting service on the region's newest line.

The nearly 200 control room operators, attendants and maintenance staff voted 87 per cent to accept the three-year collective agreement, terms of which were not made public.

Canada Line staff represented by the B.C. Government and Service Employees Union had previously voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action but never issued 72-hour strike notice.

The 19-kilometre line linking Richmond, Vancouver and the airport is run for TransLink by operator Protrans BC.

A tentative contract has also been reached with more than 500 SkyTrain workers who run and maintain the Expo and Millennium Lines.

CUPE local 7000 rep David Fleming said the results of a mail-in ratification vote now underway will not be known until next week.

Unionized SkyTrain employees had also voted to strike before returning to mediated talks with TransLink's SkyTrain subsidiary.

Bargaining had been underway since the previous contract expired last August.

Negotiations are getting started between TransLink and its bus drivers across Metro Vancouver. Their previous contract, which ensured labour peace during the 2010 Winter Olympics, expires March 31.

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