Steelworkers have fairly resoundingly rejected the latest contract offer from Canfor.
Members voted 89 per cent to reject the five-year deal that was reached last month between the company and the union.
At issue, for the membership, were shift changes and a competitive clause.
“They (Canfor) certainly know that’s something they’re not prepared to go to,” said Frank Everitt, Local 1-424 president, referring to a 5/10 shift clause that would see workers to four, 10-hour shifts, with one day off in the middle of the week.
Another clause that the union membership balked at was a “competitive” proposal.
“The competitive clause said that if anyone else was able to negotiate an agreement that was less than the Canfor deal, then Canfor got the lower price,” said Everitt. “… Maybe three months from now there’s a deal that’s more economically favourable than the one we did with Canfor and we drop down to that level. It’s like a pig in a poke, so we’re not doing it.”
The proposal only applied if wages went down in a subsequent deal, not up.
The two sides are now back to the table and Everitt said they have informed Canfor that those clauses have to be changed.
The union is in a position to strike.
“Hopefully we’ll be able succeed in reaching a successful conclusion short of a strike,” he said.