Union strike to affect city

More than 225 unionized government workers to strike in Campbell River this coming Wednesday

More than 225 unionized government employees will bring their Campbell River services to a halt Wednesday as part of a one-day province-wide strike.

B.C. Government and Service Employee Union (BCGEU) spokesman Oliver Rohlfs says 208 of his members will picket 18 government work sites in the city including approximately 20 at the liquor stores on Dogwood and in Willow Point and another six at the Service B.C. Centre at 1180 Dogwood.

Across B.C. the strike will involve almost 27,000 workers at 1,800 work sites in 153 communities. It will also include members of Professional Employees Association (PEA) and the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union Local 378 (COPE).

COPE vice-president Jeff Gillies says one ICBC employee at the Service B.C. Centre will be on strike. PEA executive director Scott McCannell, says 17 of his union’s members will join the job action at the Ministry of Forests offices at 370 South Dogwood.

There has been little progress in talks between the province and the unions for a new collective agreement.  The last government offer was a two per cent wage increase with an additional 1.5 per cent in the second year. BCGEU workers have already held brief strikes over the summer, shutting down some forests ministry offices and liquor distribution branches.

BCGEU President Darryl Walker says: “We are looking for a fair and reasonable agreement, but the government is not listening. We have no choice but to send a clear message on September 5th. There can be no more falling behind for all government workers.”

Essential service levels will not be impacted by the job action.