Both sides are hopeful a collective agreement can be reached for USW 1-2017 employees working for Central Cariboo Disposal Services Ltd. in Williams Lake, 100 Mile House and Merritt. (Central Cariboo Disposal photo)

USW 1-2017 Central Cariboo Disposal collective agreement in limbo

Unionized employees rejected the latest proposal in December, present agreement expired June 2019

Unionized workers at Central Cariboo Disposal Services Ltd. in Williams Lake, 100 Mile House and Merritt rejected a proposed new collective agreement in December.

Paul French, first vice-president of United Steelworkers Local 1-2017, said the union will now meet with members to find out why they voted no and to hold strike votes at each meeting so the union will know if workers are willing to take that step.

In advance of the collective agreement expiring in June 2019, the union and the company began negotiations back in March.

“It was a challenge from day one,” French said of the bargaining. “We called in mediation and then came up with what we thought was a passable agreement.”

Vince Benner, general manager of the Central Cariboo Disposal, said the company was surprised the membership voted against the proposal and that the vote was ‘fairly’ close.

“I think there are probably some minor things that could be adjusted that the union and us were clearly unaware that our employees wanted or we would have been talking that in negotiations,” Benner said.

“We are very optimistic that once the union has a chance to meet with our group and we find out what the sticking points are we can address them and move forward.”

Benner said the employees are a ‘great group of people’ and the company ‘wants to do right by them.’

“We just need to know exactly what it is that they did not like about the proposal. I feel confident with a couple of little tweaks we are going to reach an agreement that makes everybody happy.”

French said there are 53 unionized employees working for Central Cariboo Disposal in the three communities and the union will travel to all three communities to meet with its members.

“Once we know the main reasons for the rejection of the proposal we intend to meet with the employer in an attempt to get something the membership will agree on,” he added.

Central Cariboo Disposal was started about 40 years ago and is presently owned by Benner, Lance Marshall and Dave Engman.

The company does recycling, curbside pick up and runs landfills for local governments, including the Cariboo Regional District and the Thompson Nicola Regional District.

“We have grown a lot in the last five or six years,” Benner said.

Read more: Central Cariboo Transfer Station tipping fees increasing in 2019

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

Lakecity girls defend home ice at atom/peewee hockey tournament

The tournament saw 22 local players compete

Romeros hosting house concert with David Francey next Tuesday

The musicians are in the midst of preparing a brand new album and going on tour

CRD librarian reflects on most-read titles in 2019

Graphic novels were especially popular in Williams Lake this year

B.C. premier talks forestry, service needs with handful of northern mayors in Prince George

Prince George meeting completes premier’s tour of Kitimat, Terrace, Fort St. James and Quesnel

Almost 20,000 parking tickets issued by Interior Health at hospitals in 2019

In 2018, pay parking in Interior Health hospitals totalled $5.3 million of their $2.2-billion budget

VIDEO: Trudeau insists Iran respect families’ wishes when it comes to burials

All 176 people on board the Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 were killed

Jagmeet Singh says NDP caucus will discuss whether to support new NAFTA

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said steps to ratify the new NAFTA are top of mind

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

University of Victoria tells stories of Holocaust survivors with graphic novels

International storytelling initiative launched first meetings this winter

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Most Read