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.
An inadequate wage offer, along with Canfor failing to address key USW bargaining agenda items contributed to reaching impasse. Canfor also presented the USW committee with its concessionary agenda that included Tuesday-Saturday Clean-up at straight time for Saturday; losing Stat Holiday in-lieu days on Alternate Shift Schedules when a Stat falls outside the schedule; along with Health and Welfare concessions.
The latter concession proposed at a time when the Canfor Health and Welfare Plan is in better shape than ever.
Following the bargaining sessions with the two mills Wednesday, the lead spokesperson for Canfor, who also is the lead spokesperson for CONIFER, requested the USW Bargaining Committee reconvene negotiations with the employer association. The USW has agreed to return to the table with CONIFER on February 11, 2019 in Prince George in an attempt to secure a fair collective agreement for the membership.
Like the employer bargaining associations CONIFER and the IFLRA, the Canfor “Independents” are now in a similar position of impasse at the bargaining table. All of Canfor’s BC operations certified to the USW are now subject to potential job action moving forward in light of not reaching agreement.
Unionized members of both CONIFER and the IFLRA remain in legal strike position. Your USW Bargaining Committee remains committed to achieving a fair deal for the membership.