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City and union to meet with mediator Monday

The union representing city workers on strike in Williams Lake and the city will meet with a mediator Monday in Williams Lake, said International Union of Operating Engineers Local 882B representative John Dube.

Picket lines will remain up at all city work sites as around 110 city workers participate in the second week of a strike that began Feb. 16.

The two sides have to go over some changes to what has to be provided with essential services, Dube told the Tribune Saturday night.

"The Labour Relations Board got a hold of us after we and the city filed an unfair labour practice and suggested we meet with a mediator. Our union's business manager Saundra Taylor agreed that we would attend the meeting."

Dube said the mediation is non-binding and the mediator cannot impose any agreement.

"If we find we're not getting anywhere we can book out. Hopefully we can find a medium where we can move forward."

Mayor Kerry Cook said it is very important the two sides get back to the table.

"The city is in support of respectful meaningful discussions. We need to resolve this. The sooner we can back to the table the sooner we can do this."

The city has never left the table, Cook added.

"I am hoping that this time will be different. There has to be a willingness to negotiate in a respectful manner."

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