On Wednesday, June 26 FortisBC locked out 225 of it’s employees.
The main issues involved in the dispute are wages and control over job descriptions. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union (IBEW)Local 213 has been in bargaining with FortisBC since January of this year.
Now, four months later and still locked out, other unions and workers are rallying to show their support. CUPE, BC Ambulance and COPE workers rallied last Thursday in Kelowna and USW 480 marched in support on September 25 in Trail, B.C.
Business manager for the IBEW, Rod Russell said the membership rejected mediator Vince Ready’s recommendations for an agreement earlier this month. “Numerous contentious concessions were added by the company in mediation,” he said.
Without union direction for acceptance or rejection of Ready’s recommendation, the workers cast secret ballot votes which resulted in a large majority rejection.
FortisBC is losing employees, construction jobs are being held back and the people locked out are not driving the economy— “The company doesn’t seem to care, said Russell, the collateral damage is completely unknown.”
He added that the public can and is encouraged to, contact the B.C. Utilities Commission with their concerns.
Letters of comment voicing opposition to rate increases and concerns in regard to service can be emailed to Complaints@BCUC.com
To keep up with the (IBEW)Local 213, like them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SupportIBEW213 or follow them on Twitter https://twitter.com/Support_IBEW213.