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Tolko Lakeview Division On Strike

Tolko Lakeview Division employees represented by United Steelworkers Local 1-2017 were on the picket line bright and early Tuesday morning.

“We set up picket lines to basically try to get negotiations to move faster than what they are,” said USW 1-2017 First Vice President, Paul French.

“The company seems to be adamant to take stuff away from the members and all we want to do is just get a fair agreement.”

The strike at Lakeview affects about 50 employees and French says contractors with the construction project are also affected.

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“Hopefully Tolko gets the message that we’re serious and we’re willing to defend what’s in our collective agreement,” he said.

As for if other mill employees represented by USW 1-2017 will be on strike, French says that will all depend on what happens with negotiations in the south between the Steelworkers Union and Interior Forest Labour Relations Association (IFLRA).

“We’re just trying to remind them that we’re human beings and we need a collective agreement that’s fair.”

A 72 hour strike notice was issued to CONIFER earlier this month after talks broke down for Tolko operations in both Quesnel and Williams Lake, as well as the West Fraser planer operation in the Lakecity, Dunkley Lumber, and other operations in Prince George, Houston, Burns Lake, Fort St. James, Mackenzie and Fort St. John.

Tolko said on Oct. 12 that it would be curtailing operations effective immediately at its Quest Wood operation in Quesnel due to hight log costs and poor market conditions.

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