Our breach of Section 54 case at the BC Labour Board has resulted in an award for damages to Mount Polley Employees who were laid off in January and February of 2018. The Board has ruled that the Employer make whole any Employees who lost wages as a result of the company’s failure to give 60 days’ notice in advance of layoff. All Employees who were laid off or forced to bump to lower wage rate classifications within 60 days of December 29, 2017 should be paid for their losses.
The BC Labour Board has also made a decision on an application made by our Union in regards to concerns about the Company using replacement workers. The Board’s decision is that the Company must provide the Union with notice of new hires as well as a description of their job duties. Additionally, the buses must not have the windows obstructed or blacked out. Our vigilance at the picket lines has assisted us in obtaining this order!
The company has proceeded with an injunction order against our Union in Supreme Court. This has resulted in an order that prohibits the Union or its members from blocking or preventing any person or vehicle from travelling to the mine site. We have some traffic control systems in place at the Bootjack picket line for vehicle safety and speed concerns. We should let people know why we are there but we are not permitted to block access to the mine.
The Company and Union bargaining committees (as well as Labour Mediator Dave Schaub) will be meeting this Tuesday and Wednesday (July 17 and 18) in Williams Lake. We had a very short informal meeting to make arrangement for negotiations and the company provided an amended position on the issue of Temporary Employees. We hope this will be an opportunity to get a negotiated fair collective agreement.
This Labour dispute is certainly a hardship for both parties and certainly leads to frustration about what seems (at times) to be an endless battle. Keep in mind that we are not in a Labour dispute because we want to be - it’s because we have to be! Remember that a fair collective agreement is only ever won through the solidarity shown by a united membership. We have benefited from the sacrifices made by our brothers and sisters of past. We owe it to ourselves and future generations to keep what they fought for!
We will provide another update as quickly as possible following any developments.
THANK YOU FOR STAYING STRONG MOUNT POLLEY USW 1-2017 MEMBERS!!!
Sincerely, Your Bargaining Committee