Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - BC

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - BC

July 22, 2014 19:17 ET

Translink response raises health & safety, discipline concerns: CUPE

Suspending technician for Skytrain shutdown 'inappropriate without investigation'

BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - July 22, 2014) - In the wake of yesterday's Skytrain system shutdown, Translink's decision to suspend a power technician before a proper investigation had been held is not only inappropriate but raises serious concerns about health and safety and how Skytrain employees are given directions, the Canadian Union of Public Employees said today.

This morning, it was learned that the employer had suspended the individual concerned regarding the system shutdown-but not the supervisor who had directed him to work on the panel said to have caused the failure. The suspended employee is a member of CUPE 7000, which represents 537 Skytrain workers.

"The panel is of poor design. This problem, regarding the hazards and potential for failure, is well known by the employer and was raised on several occasions by our members. This panel should not be worked on during Skytrain operating hours. But they ignored this information," said CUPE National representative Louise Oetting.

"Now we have a situation where an individual has been suspended after being directed to work in an unsafe manner-and this public blame and suspension has occurred without a proper investigation having been completed."

Oetting said that the Union is now conducting its own investigation of yesterday's incident, which is unrelated to last week's system shutdown that was caused by hardware failure. She said that the Union would be contacting WorkSafeBC about yesterday's incident.

"The employer has agreed that we mustn't candy-coat the issue, as people want answers. Their answer was to throw our member under the train," said Oetting.

Contact Information

  • Ryan O'Connell
    acting CUPE 7000 President
    778-228-8206 (cell)
    604-434-7006 (office)

    Louise Oetting
    CUPE National Representative

    Dan Gawthrop
    CUPE Communications Representative