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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

The Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

BC Cowboy Hall of Fame: Allison Everett (White) honoured as Builder of Western Culture

Allison is an inspiration to others and is continually giving back to the sport of rodeo

Days Inn and Super 8 offering reduced rates for healthcare workers

This move comes to help protect their families and immuno-compromised individuals

HAPHAZARD HISTORY: Family connection to history of Springhouse school

Columnist Barry Sale’s father taught during the 1930s at the one-room school

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

How to cope with your mental health during a global pandemic

Becca Shears, clinical counsellor in Vanderhoof speaks about ways to deal with stress and anxiety during this time.

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

General exposure to public low after inmate tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The Okanagan Correctional Centre inmate is receiving appropriate care

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Most Read