June 16, 2013
Local 2087 Executive members Andrew Chernoff (left) and Joe Matteucci (right) join locked out Fortis Workers on picked line at system control centre in Warfield Tuesday.
TRAIL-International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 213 Fortis workers are on week three of an employer imposed lockout that began on June 26 affecting over 200 workers.
As a sign of Union Solidarity, Joe Matteucci, Cupe Local 2087-Trail Civic VP and Andrew Chernoff, Chief Shop Steward for Local 2087, brought cold bottles of water and fresh fruit for the picket line in Warfield, which were appreciated by the locked out employees.
The labour impasse shows no signs of ending soon as the two sides are not talking and are before the Labour Relations Board over essential services order limitations and orders, including union claims that Fortis management are doing work contrary to the ESO established prior to the lockout on June 26.
“We’re not that far apart,” IBEW Business Manager, Rod Russell told the Trail Times newspaper this week.
“I don’t see how this lockout makes any sense business-wise, it’s hard to see how they’re saving a lot of money by doing this.”
The main points they’re looking at in a new contract are a three per cent general wage increase for three years, and a net gain of one day off with pay for Family Day.
The lockout affects IBEW employees in power generation, transmission, and distribution in the West Kootenay and Okanagan.