Striking United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 workers, including Roy Cardinal, front, picketed along Terminal Avenue in Nanaimo on Friday. The Western Forest Products mill workers have been on strike since July 1. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

Striking Western Forest Products mill workers await word on potential mediation

Union head says Saturday meeting with mediator and company determines Sept. 13 mediation attendance

With a work stoppage entering its third month, striking Western Forest Products mill workers rallied in Nanaimo on Friday.

Workers represented by United Steelworkers Local 1-1937, including those from Western’s Duke Point sawmill, began striking on July 1 and Stephanie Empey, Duke Point mill strike captain, said they moved pickets to Terminal Avenue in Nanaimo to raise more awareness.

“A lot of people don’t even realize why we’re on strike or that we’re actually on strike,” said Empey. “We just want to let people know that we are on strike and we’re still fighting.”

Empey said the union is taking issues with concessions being proposed.

“There’s more than 20 concessions that Western has put in place,” said Empey. “They’re trying to remove some of our benefits, they’re trying to remove our pension … [and] seniority rights. They’re trying to implement a new wage for new workers. There’s a lot.”

RELATED: Striking mill workers could lose benefits

RELATED: Island Western Forest Products workers on strike

Susan Dolinksi, Western Forest Products’ vice-president of corporate affairs, said a date to meet with Vince Ready, a noted mediator, has been scheduled for Sept. 13. The company is looking forward to getting back to the table and is focusing its energy on the meeting, she said.

However, the union said that date is dependent on “significant movement being made by [Western] to facilitate the desire for a meeting.” Empey said the union does want to meet for mediation, but not under current conditions.

“The union’s position right now is until they’re ready to move these concessions they’ve got on the table, we’re not going back to mediation,” said Empey.

Brian Butler, USW Local 1-1937 president, said the union is waiting to hear back from Ready, who will meet with Western on Saturday. What transpires there will determine whether the union will be at the table on Sept. 13, Butler said.



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Karl on Twitter and Instagram

Just Posted

Regional District of Nanaimo losing forest, farm lands

Growth strategy report shows mixed results relative to regional district’s goals

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Land commission should have supported Nanoose eatery

Letter writers weigh in on closure of Rusted Rake Farm

It’s game on as new hockey exhibit fills Nanaimo Museum

Canadian Museum of History travelling exhibit on display until November

Family safe after early-morning garage fire in Nanaimo’s Buttertubs Marsh area

Nanaimo Fire Rescue called out to fire 2 a.m. on Saturday

Nanaimo company gets licence to test psychedelic drugs

Salvation Botanicals granted a controlled drugs and substances dealer’s licence

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Seven buildings proposed for waterfront development in Parksville

IAG Developments hosts second public open house to gather feedback

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Beefs & Bouquets, Sept. 12

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Most Read