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October 27, 2017 6:21 pm

Two Steelworkers Locals Merge

Friday, March 24, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Prince George, B.C. –  Two locals  with the  United Steelworkers   have merged,   creating one local that will serve  most of Northern B.C.

Local 1-425 in Williams Lake,  and Local  1-424 here in Prince George,   are now  one says  local 1-424 President Frank Everitt ” It’s a fairly significant change for both local unions as we   merge forward in anticipation of having a founding convention in June.   One local l union  will be   covering the  northern  part  of the province, similar to what we had  40 years ago.”

Both locals have ratified the  merger.

Everitt says  what is different this time around is that technology of today makes it easier for one local to  represent and be in touch  with  members  throughout the region  “We had a large geographical area and without the technology  we have today, it was difficult to   represent our members.  So  at that time, it was thought smaller locals, geographically, would be easier for the membership.”

He says  the various  locals were dealing with the same employers,  and the merger means  instead of  dealing with  a specific issue  under  local 1-425,  then  again   for  local 1-424,  it will streamline  that activity.

There were  about 1200 members of  Local 1-425,   and  Everitt  says joining forces  means  the new ( as yet to be  named) local  will have  more clout especially during  the  current  challenges facing  forestry “Certainly that’s a hope we will have a better chance of dealing with  the softwood lumber issue that’s coming at us,  the  reduced  annual allowable  cuts and  also the merging of employers.  We’ve recognized that ( merger of employers) within  424, and   we’ve seen shutdowns in the Williams Lake area as well.”

The foundation  convention  will take place  June 10th and eleventh  says Everitt  “There’s a lot of work to be done between now and June  to make sure the process continues and gets done.” At the convention,  there will be bylaws and policies for the  organization  put forward,  and then they will likely choose a  new union number  “We will still be Steelworkers”  says Everitt, “You know,  it  just might be called two thousand and  seventeen.”




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