Mediated contract talks between the United Steelworkers and Interior forest labour relations for close to 3,000 Kamloops-area forest workers will begin next week.
The president of the Kamloops Local of the Steelworkers Union Marty Gibbons says mediator Dave Schwab will attempt to work out an agreement starting Wednesday.
“It’s really going to come down to what is fair compensation based on employers like West Fraser and Canfor,” Gibbons said. “[They’re] basically reporting hundreds of millions of dollars in profits over the last quarter.”
Workers voted 98 per cent in favour of strike action, but their 72-hour strike notice expired last weekend.
“Both parties want an agreement, but we have different ideas of what that agreement looks like,” Gibbons added. “Dave Schwab is a pretty good mediator, and he comes out of the forest industry so he understands our issues.”
“I don’t think it’ll be easy for either party, but with some hard work, we can probably get this done.”
The last contract expired July 1st.