Employees represented by USW 1-2017 were on the picket line Thursday morning in Williams Lake at Tolko’s Soda Creek Division and West Fraser’s Planer.
“It’s just part of job escalation, job action,” said USW 1-2017 Financial Secretary, Don Iwaskow who confirmed the picket lines went up at 4 am.
“They’re doing rotating strikes throughout our Local just trying to get the company back to the bargaining table and to take the concessions off of the table so we’re here today, might be here tomorrow, or the day after-it depends on what goes on at the table and on how they treat us well we’re here.”
The rotating strike in Williams Lake affects more than 200 workers.
“The folks in Williams Lake are incredible,” Iwaskow adds.
“I believe they’re supportive of our cause.”
Talks are scheduled between USW and Interior Forest Labour Relations Association (IFLRA) today in Kelowna.
“They did serve strike notice on the IFLRA as well so it’s starting to ramp up and we’re hoping everybody gets back to the table and we get a deal,” Iwaskow said.
“I hope that the member companies realize that these folks are serious and they do want a raise and the concession stand is closed.”
CONIFER member companies Babine Forest Products Ltd, Canfor operations in Fort St. John, Houston, Isle Pierre, and PG Sawmill, Conifex in Fort St. James and Mackenzie, Dunkley Lumber Ltd., Lakeland Mills, Tolko’s Lakeview, Quest Wood, and Soda Creek Divisions, and West Fraser’s Williams Lake Planer have been in a legal strike position since Oct. 6th. Their collective agreement expired on June 30, 2018.