TransLink cautions public transit users in Metro Vancouver that a service disruption is possible Monday afternoon on the Canada Line.
“TransLink is preparing for a disruption to Canada Line service related to a labour dispute involving Canada Line operator Protrans and its unionized employees,” explains the transit agency in a media release.
“Unionized employees are in a legal position to begin job action at 4 p.m. TransLink will continue to closely monitor this situation as it develops.”
Stephanie Smith, president of the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union, says talks are proceeding with the help of a negotiator.
A 72-hour strike notice was issued Friday.
Smith says employees of the Canada Line, which runs between Richmond and Vancouver and to and from the airport, are paid three per cent less than those doing the same jobs on the SkyTrain.
She says about 180 workers including attendants, control room operators and administrators voted 98 per cent in favour of strike action in November over their demands for fair wages.
The union is also negotiating to double their sick time to eight days a year, and Smith says that’s especially important during the pandemic so employees don’t go to work while they’re ill and potentially expose the public to COVID-19.
Should the strike take place later Monday, service on the Canada Line, which runs between Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver and Richmond-Brighouse and YVR Airport stations in Richmond, will likely be disrupted.
TransLink says it is working with Coast Mountain Bus Company to monitor customer volumes, and may opt to increase service on some bus routes.
Canada Line riders are asked to consult Google Trip Planner or contact Customer Information for alternate bus routes. Customers can also phone customer information at 604-953-3333. Riders can also find updates on the situation on the TransLink Twitter account.
Bus, Expo Line, Millennium Line and West Coast Express are unaffected and providing regular service, notes TransLink.
“We hope Protrans and its employees will come to an agreement and avoid any impact on our customers who rely on our service in such a critical time,” adds TransLink.
With files from the Canadian Press
This content was originally published here.