THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck photo

Forestry workers’ union bans employee overtime as strike looms

First step in job action for Northern B.C. mills

More than 1,500 Forestry workers in Northern B.C. have been advised not to do overtime work by their union, in the first step of job action for United Steelworkers local 1-2017.

Union president Brian O’Rourke says there is an overtime ban for all Council of Northern Interior Forest Industry Relations (CONIFER) operations.

These operations affect workers in Houston, Burns Lake, Fort St. James, Prince George, Mackenzie, Fort St. John, Quesnel and Williams Lake. Operations affected include divisions of Canfor, Conifex, Dunkley Lumber, Lakeland Mills, Tolko Industries and West Fraser Mills, among others.

On Oct. 3, 2018, USW 1-2017 issued a 72-hour strike notice, which meant they could legally strike from Saturday Oct. 6 at 8:30 a.m. So far the overtime ban is the only step towards job action.

O’Rourke is attending negotiation meetings between the Interior Forest Labour Relations Association (IFLRA) and Locals 1-417, 1-423 and 1-403, all of which represent forestry workers in B.C.’s Interior, this week in Kelowna.

He said the talks yesterday (Oct. 10) were brief, but they are back in talks today. O’Rourke is sitting in on negotiations with other unions as many of the operations affected by the IFLRA negotiations have operations in the north as well.

“We pattern bargain. If the nuts and bolts are put together in the south, it should result in meaningful talks in the north, and vice versa – if we had had meaningful talks, it would have made their talks a lot easier. They are different players in the south but quite a few are the same, like Tolko is represented in the south as well as the north,” Union first vice president Paul French explained earlier this week.

The USW 1-2017 online update said that if the IFLRA tables a similar package to CONIFER in the north, the southern Interior locals will conduct a strike vote just as Local 1-2017 did in the north in August 2018.

French said Monday they hope to avoid a strike.

“Simply put, right now the notice has been served. We are hoping calmer heads prevail and that we can get back to the bargaining table and avoid strike action.”

Both the southern Interior and Northern B.C. agreements expired June 30, 2018.

The IFLRA is the bargaining agent for the following operations:

Local 1-417: Canfor Vavenby, West Fraser Chasm, Tolko Heffley Creek, Aspen Planer sites 1 & 2 and Canoe Forest Products.

Local 1-423: Tolko’s Armstrong, White Valley, Kelowna and Lumby Roads Crew, Lumby Forest Techs, Interfor Grand Forks and Weyerhaeuser Princeton.

Local 1-405: Canfor’s Radium, Elko and Woodlands, Interfor Castlegar, Galloway Lumber, LP Golden and Stella Jones.

READ MORE: Steelworkers union issues strike notice affecting 1,500 mill workers in northern B.C.



editor@quesnelobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Former Burns Lake mayor gets two years for sexual assaults against minors

Banned from taking work involving young people for five years

Prince Rupert man who killed foster parents in 2017 receives three-year sentence

A Prince Rupert man convicted in the deaths of his foster parents… Continue reading

Haida Gwaii athletes headed to Halifax

Plenty of representation for the islands at next year’s North American Indigenous Games

Notice of fishing closure between Haida Gwaii and Prince Rupert

As of 11:59 on Friday certain quota areas will be closed to commercial Red Sea Urchins fishing

VIDEO: A brief history of bumps in the Trudeau-Trump relationship

Remember Peter Navarro saying ‘there’s a special place in hell’ for a foreign leader who aims to cheat?

Half of shoppers say they have no holiday spending budget

B.C. consumers surveyed estimate they will spend $921 this season

Man killed in crash due to ‘absolutely treacherous’ conditions on Coquihalla

Winter means icy roads are dangerous and drivers should be careful, RCMP say

Bag of cocaine left in B.C. grocery store aisle

RCMP: ‘We sure would like to talk to’ person who left drugs behind

RCMP officer was justified using hose in rooftop standoff: B.C. watchdog

Police watchdog finds officers actions reasonable when man injured in 2018 incident

Cannabis ice cream? Province prepares for B.C. Bud edibles

Mike Farnworth’s special police unit takes down dispensaries

Union for parole officers at B.C. halfway house says public safety at risk

Increase in parole officers’ workload dealing with highest-risk offenders raises concern

B.C. bans logging in sensitive Silverdaisy area in Skagit River Valley

Minister says no more timber licences will be awarded for the area, also known as the ‘doughnut hole’

Surrey fugitive captured in California was motivated by revenge, $160,000: court documents

Brandon Teixeira, charged with murder, wants to return to Canada ‘as soon as possible,’ says lawyer

Most Read