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October 28, 2017 4:04 am

Kitimat Strike Passes Three Month Mark

Sunday, May 31, 2015 @ 8:37 AM

Kitimat, B.C. – An unhappy milestone at the District of Kitimat as their strike has hit three months.kitimat

After mediation efforts failed to yield an agreement earlier this month the union (Unifor Local 2300) rejected an offer of binding arbitration this week.

In a letter to Kitimat residents Mayor Phil Germuth extended his thanks “for their patience during this difficult time” and acknowledged that businesses and residents have been “very affected by loss of services.”

He noted the District employs only 23 exempt staff, including just three employees with the Fire Department as well as the office manager at the RCMP detachment adding “those four are looking after essential services at those locations.”

“17 managers are doing essential duties (water, sewer,cemetery,etc.); doing their best to keep the community clean, mow grass, collect taxes, pay bills and many other duties; while also doing their jobs.”

Over 120 Unifor members walked off the job February 28, arguing for higher wages and better workplace conditions (the District offered a 2.5% wage increase per year in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and argue their municipal employees are among the best paid in B.C.).

And although Unifor rejected binding arbitration, the union still feels the strike could end soon.

“As long as the District’s bargaining ream doesn’t run us in circles, I think we’re close to a deal,” said Unifor’s Scott Doherty. “But one thing is for sure: we’re not going backwards. No deal is possible if the District thinks that it can take items off the table that have already been agreed to.”

Unifor argues the public is on their side, noting more than 2,000 Kitimat residents have signed a petition supporting the union.


Even with a settlement now, how will they ever make up for three months lost wages?

They never will. The increased wages will be recouped in increased taxes, and nobody, except possibly the banks, as everyone needs more money to continue to do what they did before with less goes ever further in debt, will gain a thing.

I hear people say that during every strike Livingonwater. People don’t go on strike and worry about their lost wages during that time like many think they do. Sure it’s a loss to them but they are on strike for more than just a wage increase for themselves. They are thinking about the futures of those that follow them in the years to come. They strike for better conditions for themselves and others who follow.

Well said Dumbfounded.

How much of what they are said to be striking for is ever actually achieved? And at what cost? Have all those workers who’ve been displaced from what were once relatively well paying jobs, and are now relegated to either being unemployed permanently or taking a job that pays far less than what they once had, achieved “better conditions for themselves and others who follow”? In many cases they literally priced themselves out of the market. The cost of their increased incomes couldn’t be recovered in prices (or taxes) that they, and the rest of us, as members of the general public, then had to pay. What is their solution to that? One based on FACT, or some imagined idea that corporations whose profits as a percentage of their sales are actually FALLING not rising, (and have been for years), are somehow to blame? Public sector workers have had an advantage over private sector ones recently in that governments have been continually able to go back to the taxpayer to fund their demands. But pretty soon the taxpayers, even ones employed in the public sector, won’t be able to pay.

“17 managers are doing essential duties (water, sewer,cemetery,etc.); doing their best to keep the community clean, mow grass, collect taxes, pay bills and many other duties; while also doing their jobs.”

“…while also doing their jobs.”

Please unpuzzle me! How can these managers have that much time on their hands to be doing their REGULAR job PLUS all the chores outlined in the quoted paragraph? Something looks fishy!

Well, if they haven’t got anyone to ‘manage’ then I suppose they’d have the time to do those other things themselves. It does make you wonder, though, whether or not there might just be more people employed than what’s really needed.

I really think you deep thinkers should go to kitimatdaily.ca and tell them how it’s done.

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