Workers at the Interfor Sawmill in Castlegar went on strike Monday as part of rotating job action by the United Steel Workers. (Photos: USW #140-5)

Workers picket Interfor mill as rotating strikes begin

Wider rotating strike action is expected across the Kootenays

Picket lines went up at the Interfor sawmill in Castlegar Monday as part of rotating job action by the employees’ union.

Talks between the United Steelworkers (USW) and the Interior Forest Labour Relations Association (IFLRA) broke down more than a week ago and workers have been in a legal strike position since the beginning of November.

RELATED: Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

“Members will be exercising that right on an incremental basis,” according to the union.

The IFLRA and the USW have been engaged in collective bargaining since the beginning of September.

According to the IFLRA, the parties have spent 12 days in negotiations, culminating with three full days of mediation in mid-November.

“Although we are disappointed the USW has broken off talks and started job action, we would be open to returning to the table at any time to bargain a fair deal for our employees and the industry,” said IFLRA president Jeff Roos.

More than 2,600 USW members from the Cranbrook, Kamloops and Kelowna locals are affected by the negotiations.

Kootenay operations that could also see similar strike action include the Canfor mills at Elko, Radium and Woodlands, as well as the Galloway sawmill, the Stella Jones Pole Plant in Galloway, and the Louisiana Pacific plant in Golden.

The collective agreement covering forestry workers in the Northern and Southern Interior expired June 30.

In the northern part of the province 2,000 USW members have been in strike position since Oct. 6. There have been overtime bans and rotating strikes at mills across the region.

 

Workers at the Interfor Sawmill in Castlegar went on strike Monday as part of rotating job action by the United Steel Workers. (Photos: USW #140-5)

Workers at the Interfor Sawmill in Castlegar went on strike Monday as part of rotating job action by the United Steel Workers. (Photos: USW #140-5)

Just Posted

Former polygamous leader found guilty of removing a child from Canada

James Oler found guilty of removing an underage child from Canada to marry a U.S. man in 2004

Dog owner upset after five puppies stolen from Cranbrook home

Angelo Polh says a litter of puppies were taken from his home while he was away on May 11.

Local martial arts students head to worlds

Three Cranbrook athletes will be competing against the best at the USA World Championships

It happened this week in Cranbrook: 1912

Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the newspapers at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Cranbrook Bandits battle it out in Montana

The junior and senior teams were successful south of the border going 2-2 and 3-0 respectively

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Man facing 12 charges after fleeing from Cranbrook, Elk Valley RCMP

A man is facing 12 charges after fleeing from police in Cranbrook… Continue reading

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

Most Read