Workers at the Interfor Sawmill in Castlegar went on strike Monday as part of rotating job action by the United Steel Workers. (Photos: USW #140-5)

Workers picket Interfor mill as rotating strikes begin

Wider rotating strike action is expected across the Kootenays

Picket lines went up at the Interfor sawmill in Castlegar Monday as part of rotating job action by the employees’ union.

Talks between the United Steelworkers (USW) and the Interior Forest Labour Relations Association (IFLRA) broke down more than a week ago and workers have been in a legal strike position since the beginning of November.

RELATED: Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

“Members will be exercising that right on an incremental basis,” according to the union.

The IFLRA and the USW have been engaged in collective bargaining since the beginning of September.

According to the IFLRA, the parties have spent 12 days in negotiations, culminating with three full days of mediation in mid-November.

“Although we are disappointed the USW has broken off talks and started job action, we would be open to returning to the table at any time to bargain a fair deal for our employees and the industry,” said IFLRA president Jeff Roos.

More than 2,600 USW members from the Cranbrook, Kamloops and Kelowna locals are affected by the negotiations.

Kootenay operations that could also see similar strike action include the Canfor mills at Elko, Radium and Woodlands, as well as the Galloway sawmill, the Stella Jones Pole Plant in Galloway, and the Louisiana Pacific plant in Golden.

The collective agreement covering forestry workers in the Northern and Southern Interior expired June 30.

In the northern part of the province 2,000 USW members have been in strike position since Oct. 6. There have been overtime bans and rotating strikes at mills across the region.

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

 

Workers at the Interfor Sawmill in Castlegar went on strike Monday as part of rotating job action by the United Steel Workers. (Photos: USW #140-5)

Workers at the Interfor Sawmill in Castlegar went on strike Monday as part of rotating job action by the United Steel Workers. (Photos: USW #140-5)

Just Posted

Shortage of workers on Creston, Okanagan cherry and apple farms due to COVID-19

‘The tree fruit industry and the Ministry of Agriculture are asking local workers to consider helping with the harvest so that food waste is reduced’

Okanagan, Creston cherry and apple farms in need of workers

The worker shortage is due to the COVID-19 restrictions on international travel

Creston Fire Rescue Report: nine calls between Aug. 1 and 6

On Aug. 2, the CFR team and Wynndel Lakeview Fire Department (WLFD) were dispatched to the area of Highway 3A in Sirdar for a two-vehicle motorcycle incident

July Kootenay real estate sales at record high

Sales and prices of Kootenay real estate on the rise

Creston Valley Hospital addresses COVID-19 rumours regarding farms

‘Not one seasonal worker in Creston has tested positive for COVID-19,’ said Dr. Nerine Kleinhans

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Most Read