Another Kamloops area sawmill is behind picket lines today.
Members of the United Steelworkers Union have shutdown Canfor’s Vavenby sawmill today as part of rotating strikes against Interior Forest Labour Relations.
The president of Kamloops Local 1-417 Marty Gibbons admits the executive is under pressure to shut down the entire B.C. Interior industry.
“We get that a lot,” he said. “A lot of our members are asking why we don’t just shut down the province, and our answer to that is actually its about strategy.”
“We are aggressively applying pressure. So pulling the pin and shutting down the province is one of our moves, but it’s our last move and we like to use as many as our tools in our toolbox before we get to that point.”
The union is locked in a contract battle with IFLRA which represents 17 companies and 2,600 workers.
“We have targetted Tolko earlier this week, and now we’re working on Canfor,” Gibbons said. “These are the two big boys sitting at the bargaining table, and either of these employers, certainly together, they have the ability to come to the table with a fair contract and put this all behind us.”
“So we’ve been focusing on them to start with, and we’re going to expand from here.”
The last contract expired on July st, and money is the major issue.