United Steelworkers issue 72-hour strike notice

Union, forestry labour association have applied for a mediator

A union representing forestry workers in the B.C. Interior has issued a 72-hour strike notice against the Interior Forest Labour Relations Association – Southern Employer, however, both sides have applied for a mediator.

Three locals with the United Steelworkers in the Kootenays, Kamloops and Kelowna recently voted for a 98 per cent strike mandate, as their most recent contract expired at the end of June.

READ: United Steelworkers in B.C. Interior return strike vote

“Your Committee remains determined to negotiate a fair collective agreement that ensures workers share in the employer past and future profits,” reads a bulletin from the USW 1-405. “The parties agreed that in order to conclude a new agreement without escalating strike action, mediation would be required.”

The USW release says that until the mediation process is concluded, both sides are restricted from either going on strike or conducting a lockout.

The 1-405 local represents roughly 800 employees working in forestry-related fields in the Kootenays. The USW has approximately 3,500 members between the Kootenays, Kamloops and Kelowna.

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