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City workers crash Sunday event promoting Edmonton public transit

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Edmonton's mayor was met with a small picket line Sunday while promoting the city's public transit.

Mayor Amarjeet Sohi and other city officials were at the Valley Line Southeast Muttart LRT stop to greet transit riders as part of Family Day celebrations.

The event was designed to highlight the "uniquely Edmonton experience" of taking public transit to an urban ski hill.

"It's a project that we've been looking forward to for a long time, and it's finally here. We're really excited," said Edmonton Ski Club board chair Sandy Fleming. "We're hoping that this event helps to get the word out a little bit more about the fact that it's there as an option, and it's right here in the middle of the city."

While officials were there to drum up support for Edmonton's amenities, a group of demonstrators came out to call on support for city workers.

Around two dozen members of CSU 52 set up at the LRT station.

The union represents City of Edmonton workers, a majority of which have recently voted in favor of strike action after failed negotiations.

Tracy Foran, CSU 52 first vice president, said a strike is the last resort and members would prefer the city return to the bargaining table.

"We've been negotiating since 2022, and we still don't have a deal," Foran said. "My members at the City of Edmonton voted 91 per cent to strike in order to bring the employer back to the table.

"My counterparts at EPL voted 94 per cent favor of strike to bring them back to the table, and to date, we've had no discussions with the employer."

Sohi said, as a former bus driver, he understands how hard city staff work. However, bargaining is not within city council's scope, he added.

"We encourage our administration and unions to continue to negotiate and have conversations. This is something that council does not get involved in," Sohi said.

The Valley Line Southeast LRT opened for passenger service in early November.

The Edmonton Ski Club has been operating in Edmonton since 1911, and it will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Family Day.  

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