Western and United Steelworkers Take a Step Back
Logging truck being loaded at WFP terminal. (Western Forest Products, Facebook)
It’s been more than eleven weeks since the United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 voted 98.8 percent in favour of strike action and very little progress has been made since.
In fact, Friday saw a step in the wrong direction with those negotiations, as the United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 is reporting that Western Forest Products position is largely unchanged and massive concessions are still on the table.
Some of those concessions include eliminating most training agreements, the implementation of two-tiered wages, and an RSP plan that would replace the pension plan.
The USW is saying that Western withdrew two positive proposals, going backward in the bargaining process.
After meeting for four to six hours, mediators Vince Ready and Amanda Rogers informed Western that the USW representatives had walked away from the negotiating table.
It’s not a stretch to say that no progress has been made in eleven weeks, as Richard Arnason, the second Vice-President of the USW has been quoted as saying “WFP’s bully tactics will do nothing but strengthen the members resolve in our fight for a fair coastal agreement.
However, the President and CEO of Western, Don Demens has said that the company is disappointed that the talks have broken off and resuming discussions is the best way for the parties to resolve their differences.