IBEW votes down second offer from FortisBC

Latest FortisBC proposal disapproved by IBEW union membership

  • Oct. 31, 2013 6:00 a.m.

Picket Shack on Columbia Avenue in Castlegar

 

By Art Harrison

Trail Daily Times

 

For the second time this month locked out International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 213 have rejected an offer by FortisBC to end the four-month lockout that has had members walking the picket lines in the West Kootenay and Okanagan.

“Fortis BC is disappointed with the choice not to endorse the tentative agreement,” said Director of Communications for FortisBC, Joyce Wagenaar. “It was recommended for ratification by the bargaining committee, however the membership did not accept it. Clearly there is a difference in perspective between the bargaining committee and the membership. This is something they need to be looking at.”

Wagenaar said the latest offer of an 11.5 per cent wage increase over five years, an increase to a signing incentive, and other premiums, was above what was recommended by mediator, Vince Ready, in early October.

However, Rod Russell, business manager for IBEW Local 213, has a considerably different take on the results of the ratification vote.

“The reason it was recommended was to give the membership a chance to have their say in it,” he said. “Basically, they took Vince Ready’s recommendation, put a little bit more money in it, took away one concession and the membership voted it down by almost the same margin. I think that should be telling them something.”

The latest offer was rejected by a 59 per cent to 41 per cent margin by employees working in generation, transmission, and distribution operations from Creston through to Princeton in the Southern Interior of the province.

After 18 weeks without pay cheques Russell says the membership are showing the strain of being locked out.

“We’re in a tough spot, no doubt about it,” he said. “Being the business manager, I’ve had it pretty easy compared to the guys on the line. I can’t imagine how they’re getting by without a wage to live on. I can’t think what the relationship is going to be like between the members and the management once this is settled, my guys have been living on nothing and they (management) have been making more money than ever working overtime.”

Just Posted

Good fencing makes good neighbours— especially when your neighbours are bears

Workshop in Pass Creek this weekend to promote benefits of proper protection for livestock

Castlegar daycare selected for universal childcare pilot program

MLA Katrine Conroy presents letter of acceptance to the program to the Children’s Centre at Selkirk College

Trail police release image of liquor store robber

The video surveillance image shows the robber aiming a black gun at the store’s clerk

Columbia Avenue paving scheduled for weekend

Paving on Castlegar’s main thoroughfare will take place in a few days, weather permitting.

Kootenay region posts 10-per-cent return rate on electoral reform ballots

As of Nov. 13, only 5.3 per cent of ballots had been returned province-wide

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

B.C. dog owner sues after pet killed in beaver trap

A Kamloops man is suing the operator of a trapline north of the city after his dog died

Most Read