After one day of bargaining with Canfor Polar and Plateau Sawmills in Prince George on January 23, 2019, as well as one day with Canfor Chetwynd two weeks prior, we have now reached impasse with all three independent Canfor mills.
At the request of the IFLRA, your bargaining committee returned to the table on January 15, 16 and 17 in Kelowna BC. Despite what can only be described as a frustrating 3 days, your committee continued to work diligently towards concluding a fair collective agreement.
Prior to the break, Canfor, representing the three northern mills – Chetwynd, Polar and Plateau, applied to the BC Labour Relations Board for a ruling on the USW’s recent strike vote of 95% among the three mills that the strike vote and 72-hour notice was illegal.
Your USW Bargaining Committee continues to work hard for the unionized Forest Industry membership in USW Local’s 1-405 (Cranbrook); 1-417 (Kamloops); 1-423 (Kelowna) and 1-2017 (Prince George and Southern Cariboo) to achieve a fair collective agreement.
The United Steelworkers has successfully resolved the long-standing random drug and alcohol testing issue at Teck Coal mines in southeastern British Columbia, winning a landmark decision that forced Teck to stop its testing program.
The USW Bargaining Committee, representing the USW Locals 1-417 (Kamloops), 1-423 (Kelowna), 1-405 (Cranbrook) and 1-2017 (Prince George), including 2600 members in the south region and 2000 members in the north region, booked out provincial mediator Dave Schaub late Friday night after talks broke down between the two parties.
Unfortunately, due to complications involving necessary documents not being issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) in a timely manner, the Union is unable to say exactly when distribution of funds will be made to former Wolverine Mine (Walter Energy) employees.
The USW Bargaining Committee, representing the USW Locals 1-417 (Kamloops), 1-423 (Kelowna), 1-405 (Cranbrook) and 1-2017 (Prince George) and the IFLRA, representing southern interior forestry employers, have agreed to mediation through the B.C. Labour Relations Board following the inability to agree to a new collective agreement after the groups’ 4th bargaining session that ended last week on Thursday, November 1st.
Over 130 members from all parts of the local took part in two days of education.
The bargaining committee has started rotating strikes at CONIFER Mills, with the first being Tolko Lakeview, in Williams Lake.
As you are aware your Bargaining Committee came to an impasse with CONIFER in negotiations this past Friday. We asked the mediator to book out, and on Wednesday served 72-hour Strike Notice. So effective 8am on Saturday, October 6th, we will be in legal strike position.
Further to booking the mediator out earlier this week, USW Local 1-2017 covering all of northern BC, based in Prince George, has issued 72-hour strike notice and will be in a legal strike position at 8 am Saturday, October 6, 2018.
Your BC Interior Bargaining Committee sat down with CONIFER member companies for five days of mediation in Prince George this week with the aim of bargaining a fair collective agreement for the Northern Sawmill Workers of USW Local 1-2017. Mediator Dave Schaub was called upon to kick start what can only be characterized as a slow start to bargaining, with meager progress.
Your bargaining committee spent September 17th and 18th continuing to use a common sense approach in an attempt to avoid a strike. What is truly concerning is Conifer’s unwavering position that their concessionary agenda MUST be addressed.
Steelworkers Local Union 1-2017 brought out the cook trailer for another round of BBQ’s for Polley Mine members, and Parallel 55 members.
After receiving a 93% strike mandate from United Steelworkers Local 1-2017 members, your USW negotiating committee will resume bargaining with the Council of Northern Interior Forest Industry Relations (CONIFER).
United Steelworkers Local 1-2017 has completed its’ strike vote for operations affiliated with the Council of Northern Interior Forest Industry Relations (CONIFER).
On July 10th, 2018, a Labour Relations Board hearing was held between Mount Polley Mining Corporation and USW Local 1-2017. The Local alleged that the Employer breached Section 54 of the Labour Relations Code by failing to give 60 days' notice when it laid off a significant amount of its work force in January and February of 2018.
Your bargaining committee reconvened with CONIFER on July 23rd in Prince George. Regrettably CONIFER representatives returned to the table unwilling to bargain.