Workers at the Interfor sawmill in Castlegar went on strike Monday as part of rotating job action by the United Steelworkers. Photo: USW #140-5

South Country forestry workers could strike any day: union

USW launches job action after talks with industry break down

South Country forestry workers could walk off the job “any day” as part of rotating job action by the employees’ union.

Talks between the United Steelworkers (USW) and 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.

Picket lines went up at the Interfor sawmill in Castlegar on Monday as 160 workers protested unfair conditions proposed by the IFLRA.

As of press time Tuesday, operations at Canfor Elko Sawmill, Galloway Sawmill and Stella Jones Pole Plant in Galloway had not been affected by the job action.

“We’re doing rotating strikes,” said USW Local 1-405 President Doug Singer on Monday.

“There’s nothing at this point but it could happen any day.”

Last week, The Free Press reported the union had hired a provincial mediator after talks between the two parties broke down.

LOOK BACK: South Country forestry workers plan strike action

USW is calling for a fair collective agreement but says there has been little movement by the industry since negotiations began five months ago.

According to Singer, it’s the first time in 32 years forestry workers have been forced into strike action.

“It definitely will have an impact on communities and families over the time period,” he said.

“It depends on how long it goes on for. We’re determined to take whatever action necessary to get a fair agreement for our members.”

Just Posted

SD5 drafts business case for Fernie school expansion

Ecole Isabella Dicken Elementary School is currently 30 per cent over capacity

District of Elkford celebrates grand opening of new municipal office

Submitted District of Elkford The District of Elkford has officially begun serving… Continue reading

GALLERY: Fernie hosts mine rescue competition

Fording River, Line Creek mine rescue teams off to provincials after placing first and second

Fernie beer named Canada’s best pale ale

Fernie Brewing Company’s Campout West Coast Pale finishes first at the Canadian Brewing Awards

Cannabis yoga a budding trend in Fernie

Yoga studio, cannabis educator team up to offer Fernie’s first cannabis yoga classes from May 17

Rescuers finally persuade Eiffel Tower climber to come down

The official said the man was ‘under control and out of danger’ on Monday night

Man facing 12 charges after fleeing from Cranbrook, Elk Valley RCMP

A man is facing 12 charges after fleeing from police in Cranbrook… Continue reading

GALLERY: “Spectacular” start to Fernie golfing season

Fernie Golf Club gearing up for Community Day on June 9

Justin Trudeau credits immigration for Canada’s growing tech sector

Trudeau stressed that Canada has become a major source of talent for tech all over the world

Feds launch tourism strategy designed to boost sector 25 per cent by 2025

The fund is supposed to back experiences that show off Canada’s strengths

Should B.C. already be implementing province-wide fire bans?

A petition is calling for B.C. Wildfire Service to issue a ban to reduce risk of human caused wildfires

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several days, but grew substantially Sunday

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Most Read